Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



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

The First Theft:
The first documented case of art theft was in 1473, when two 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings worldwide and among the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen out of the Louver. Soon after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the cops, however was launched rapidly.

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

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while trying to https://www.whitepages.com/name/Kurt-Criter offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using authorities uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. According to current reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken two times and was only just recently recuperated. In 1994, during 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 poor security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government denied the offer, however the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to demand ransom cash, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the facts on how they were recovered are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was thoroughly conducted 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.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer 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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