Art Theft: The Most Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal activity. When you look at the a few 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 some of the most popular 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 stolen. While the triptych was being transported 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.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes among the most well-known paintings on the planet 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 arrested and questioned by the authorities, but was released 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 just brought it hidden under his coat. The criminal offense was thoroughly conducted 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.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic creating copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
The most significant art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using authorities uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was estimated 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.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are connected to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been taken twice and was just recently recuperated. In 1994, during the Winter 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.

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. Kurt Criter The Federal government denied the deal, however the Norwegian authorities collaborated with the British Authorities 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 https://soundcloud.com/kurt-criter again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials awaiting the burglars to request ransom cash, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Eventually, the Norwegian police found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a notorious con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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