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



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal offense. When you look at the some of the most well-known 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 read about a few of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The 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 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known 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 taken from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the authorities, but was launched rapidly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply carried it concealed under his coat. The criminal activity was thoroughly carried out by a well-known 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 original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using police 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, as well as a French and a Chinese artifact.

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

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been stolen twice and was just just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Season 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 bad security.

3 months later on, the holders of the painting https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government turned down the offer, but the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

Ten years later, The Scream https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNxmDR0Lf7eKav0Z4XkSZcWl9N4D2c9qa was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting on the thieves to request ransom cash, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian police found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recovered are not known yet.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely 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 popular paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a infamous con guy, 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 cops while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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