Art Theft: The Many Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex crime. When you take a look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out about some of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first documented 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.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known 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 stolen from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the cops, but was released rapidly.

It took about 2 years until the mystery was fixed by the Parisian police. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely carried it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly conducted by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. After two years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he attempted to make the best out https://www.whitepages.com/name/Kurt-Criter of his taken great. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while aiming to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Most significant Theft in the U.S.A:
The most significant art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter was estimated 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.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealerships are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been stolen two times and was only recently recuperated. In 1994, during 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 stating: thanks for the bad security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government rejected the deal, however the Norwegian police worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter to organize a sting operation that brought back 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 proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths on how they were recuperated are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was carefully carried out by a well-known 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.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to sell 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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