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



Art theft is an ancient and complicated crime. When you take a look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that involve 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 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 transferred 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes among the most popular paintings worldwide and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the police, however was launched rapidly.

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 simply brought it hidden under his coat. The criminal activity was carefully carried out by a infamous 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 developing copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. After two years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the best from his stolen good. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest 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 burglars using police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealerships are connected to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken twice and was just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNxmDR0Lf7eKav0Z4XkSZcWl9N4D2c9qa a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later, the https://www.spokeo.com/Kurt-Criter holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government refused the offer, however the Norwegian police teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers used a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to request ransom loan, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian police found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths 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 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 popular paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The crime was carefully conducted by a notorious con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Eventually, 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 looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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