Art Theft: The Most Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal activity. When you take a look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealers, 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 transferred 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 among the most well-known paintings on the planet and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the police, but was launched quickly.

It took about two years until the secret was solved by the Parisian authorities. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely carried it hidden under his coat. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was carefully carried out by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias home. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
The most significant art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using cops uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was approximated 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 been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been stolen twice and was just just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout 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 poor 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 Government refused the deal, however the Norwegian authorities worked together 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 once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities awaiting the burglars to request ransom money, reports declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian cops found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recuperated are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNxmDR0Lf7eKav0Z4XkSZcWl9N4D2c9qa the most well-known 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 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 crime was thoroughly conducted by a well-known 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.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying to offer 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 burglars in history.

Leave a Reply

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