Art Theft: The Many Intriguing and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complicated and ancient crime. When you look at the a few of the most popular 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 a few 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 2 panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were taken. 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 Assumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most famous 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 taken out of the Louver. Soon after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the police, however was released quickly.

It took about two years up until the secret was resolved 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 brought it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a infamous con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the cops while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter 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 value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

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

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

Three 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 Federal government declined the offer, however the Norwegian cops teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to request ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recuperated are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft involves 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 thoroughly performed by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history.

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