Art Theft: The Many Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal activity. When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can read about some of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very 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 carried 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 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 well-known paintings on the planet and among the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the police, but was released quickly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it concealed under his coat. The criminal offense was thoroughly conducted by a infamous con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment. After two years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he tried to make the very best out of his taken excellent. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to offer 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 U.S.A:
The greatest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing authorities uniforms broke into 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, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, as well as a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually 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 most likely the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history. It has been taken twice and was only just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics https://medium.com/@kurtcriter in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken 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, the holders https://www.whitepages.com/name/Kurt-Criter of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government denied the offer, but 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.

While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to request ransom cash, reports declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recovered are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully carried out by a well-known con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities 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 burglars in history.

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