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



Art theft is an ancient and complex crime. When you look at the a few of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve 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 very 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 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.

The A Lot Of Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings on the planet and among the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen out of the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the police, but was launched quickly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was fixed by the Parisian police. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully carried out by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment or condo. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States took location at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing authorities uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth 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 recent reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are connected 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 actually been stolen twice and was just recently recuperated. 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 poor security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government declined the offer, but the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was Kurt Criter stolen 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 demand ransom cash, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts 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 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 carefully performed by a well-known con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art burglars in history.

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