Art Theft: The Most Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal offense. When you take a look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealers, 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 recorded case of art theft remained in 1473, when two panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were taken. While the triptych was being transported by ship from the Netherlands to Florence, the ship was assaulted by pirates who took it to the Gdansk cathedral in Poland. Nowadays, the piece is revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves among the most popular paintings in the world and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the authorities, however was released quickly.

It took about two years till the mystery was fixed by the Parisian cops. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply carried it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was thoroughly carried out by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer 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 home. After two years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he attempted to make the very best out of his stolen great. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer 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 using authorities uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. According to current reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken two times and was only just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by two thieves who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the bad security.

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

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to demand ransom cash, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned https://www.whitepages.com/name/Kurt-Criter to hide evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian cops found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recuperated are not known.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include 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 popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully carried out by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the cops while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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