Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal activity. When you take a look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out a few of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very first documented case of art theft was 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 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes among the most famous paintings worldwide and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the cops, 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 criminal activity was carefully performed by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the finest out of his stolen excellent. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the cops while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Greatest Theft in the U.S.A:
The greatest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, https://foursquare.com/v/kurt-criter/59ae10555161136b77113e4f in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

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

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been taken 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, set off the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the bad security.

3 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 offer, but the Norwegian cops collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting on the burglars to demand ransom money, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian police found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recuperated are not understood 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 dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most well-known Kurt Criter paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The crime was thoroughly carried out by a notorious con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, 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 sought after painting by art burglars in history.

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