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



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal activity. When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out a few of the most well-known 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 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 shown 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 one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of 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 detained and questioned by the authorities, however was released quickly.

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 among 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 offense was carefully conducted by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic developing copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the cops while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

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 thieves wearing cops uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was approximated 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.

As of yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to current reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are connected to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has been stolen two times and was just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by two thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million https://www.pinterest.com/kurtcriter/ dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The https://medium.com/@kurtcriter Scream. The Government turned down the offer, however the Norwegian cops collaborated with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to demand ransom cash, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recuperated are not understood.


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 famous story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was thoroughly 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 original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while attempting to sell 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.

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