Art Theft: One Of The Most Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal offense. When you take a look at the a few of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can read about a few of the most well-known 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 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known 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 taken from the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the cops, but was launched rapidly.

It took about two years until the mystery was solved by the Parisian police. It ended up 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 concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was thoroughly performed by a well-known con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial 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. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the very best out of his stolen good. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, https://medium.com/@kurtcriter 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 happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using cops uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth 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, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered 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 linked 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 recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season 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, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government turned down the offer, however the Norwegian police worked together with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was taken again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to demand ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of the most famous 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 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 thoroughly conducted by a infamous con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *