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



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal offense. 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 dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out some of the most well-known cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very 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 stolen. While the triptych was being transferred 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 shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most well-known 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. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was arrested 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 staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely carried it hidden under his coat. The crime was thoroughly carried out by a well-known con man, 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 hectic producing copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he tried to make the best out of his taken great. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while aiming to offer 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 USA:
The most significant art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using authorities uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars Kurt Criter Denver 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 been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter been taken two times and was only recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season 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.

3 months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government declined the offer, but the Norwegian cops teamed up with the British Police and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

Ten years later, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting on the thieves to request ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recovered are not known yet.


When you look at the some of the most popular 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 well-known paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. 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 sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the cops 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 thieves in history.

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