Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated crime. When you take a look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out a few of the most well-known 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 taken. While the triptych was being carried 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 Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves among the most well-known paintings in the world and among the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken out of the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the authorities, however was released rapidly.

It took about two years up until the mystery was solved by the Parisian authorities. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly performed by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant 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 house. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using cops 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, 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. Inning accordance with recent reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has been stolen twice and was only just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks https://medium.com/@kurtcriter for the bad security.

3 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 deal, however the Norwegian authorities teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to request ransom cash, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Eventually, the Norwegian cops discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths on how they were recuperated are not known.


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. The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most famous 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 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.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while trying to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

Leave a Reply

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