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



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal offense. 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. Here you can check out about some of the most well-known cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first recorded 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 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 Presumption.

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

It took about 2 years until the mystery was solved by the Parisian cops. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it hidden under his coat. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly performed by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 developing copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias house. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
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 police uniforms burglarized 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, 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 current reports, the FBI are examining 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 probably the most searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken twice and was only just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by two https://medium.com/@kurtcriter thieves who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

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

10 years later, The Scream was taken once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars used a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities awaiting the thieves to request ransom loan, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recovered are not known.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly conducted by a notorious 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 original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the cops while trying 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *