Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient crime. When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out some of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first documented case of art theft remained in 1473, when 2 panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were stolen. While the triptych was being transferred by ship from the Netherlands to Florence, the ship was attacked by pirates who took it to the Gdansk cathedral in Poland. Nowadays, the piece is shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings worldwide and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken out of the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the police, but was launched rapidly.

It took about 2 years till the secret was fixed by the Parisian cops. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it concealed under his coat. Nonetheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic creating copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After two years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the best out of his stolen excellent. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the cops while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The most significant art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing cops uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, http://kurtcriter.brandyourself.com/Links Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are connected to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art thieves in history. It has been stolen twice and was just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

3 months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government turned down the offer, however the Norwegian cops worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was taken again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials awaiting the thieves to request ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian police discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the facts on how they were recuperated are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The crime was thoroughly performed by a notorious con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the cops while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art burglars in history.

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