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



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal activity. When you look at the a few of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can read about some of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very first documented case of art theft was in 1473, when 2 panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were taken. 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 revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings on the planet and one of 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. Right after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the authorities, however was launched quickly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was resolved by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was carefully conducted by a infamous con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic developing copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment. After two years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the very best from his stolen great. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while aiming to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using authorities uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves 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.

Since yet, none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are investigating 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 taken twice and was just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note saying: https://soundcloud.com/kurt-criter thanks for the poor security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government refused the deal, but the Norwegian cops teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to request ransom money, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recovered are not known.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most popular 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 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 original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying 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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