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



Art theft is an ancient and complex crime. When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that include 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 very first recorded 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 revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings worldwide 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. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the police, however was launched quickly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it hidden under his coat. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a infamous 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 original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The greatest 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 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, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

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

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been stolen two times and was only recently recovered. https://www.whitepages.com/name/Kurt-Criter/Denver-CO In 1994, during the Winter 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 on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government rejected the deal, however the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Cops 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 taken once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting on the burglars to request ransom money, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recovered are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly 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 famous paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The crime was carefully carried out by a infamous 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 initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the police 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 looked for after painting by art burglars in history.

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