Art Theft: The Many Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal offense. When you take a 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 countless dollars. Here you can check out a few of the most famous 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 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 revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves among the most famous paintings on the planet and among the most famous 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 arrested and questioned by the authorities, however was launched rapidly.

It took about two years up until the secret was resolved by the Parisian cops. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it concealed under his coat. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was carefully carried out by a notorious con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 producing copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught 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 biggest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using police uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value 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, in addition to 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 together with French art dealerships are linked to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken twice and was only recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

3 months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government rejected the offer, but the Norwegian police worked together with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting https://www.yelp.com/biz/kurt-criter-denver-2 for the thieves 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 realities 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 prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft involves 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 carefully performed by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter they were the original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting 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 thieves in history.

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