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



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal offense. When you 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 popular 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 transported 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen out of the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the authorities, but was released quickly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was solved by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply carried it hidden under his coat. Nevertheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully carried out 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.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic creating copies for the well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment or condo. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the cops while trying to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the U.S.A:
The greatest art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using cops uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, as well as 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 recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has been stolen two times and was just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad 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 denied the offer, but the Norwegian cops teamed up with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to request ransom loan, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian police found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated are not known.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see Kurt Criter thoroughly planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular 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 criminal activity was carefully performed by a well-known con male, 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.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to offer 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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