Art Theft: One Of The Most Fascinating 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 thoroughly prepared operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can read about a few of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very 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.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves among the most famous paintings on the planet and among the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended 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 merely carried it concealed under his coat. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out 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 busy creating copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After two years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he aimed to make the finest out of his taken great. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying 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 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 police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars 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 actually been found 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 criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most demanded painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken two times and was just just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen 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 on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government turned down the deal, but the Norwegian authorities collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to request ransom cash, reports declared that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian cops found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recovered are not known.


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 dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The crime was carefully carried out by a well-known con male, 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 cops while trying 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 thieves in history.

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