Art Theft: The Most 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 popular 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 was 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 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 Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings worldwide and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the police, but was released rapidly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was fixed by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was carefully performed by a notorious bilker, 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.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic producing copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. After two years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he attempted to make the very best out of his taken great. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while aiming to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
The most significant art theft in United States took place 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 worth was approximated at https://www.yelp.com/biz/kurt-criter-denver-2 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 actually been found and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with recent reports, the FBI are investigating https://www.yelp.com/biz/kurt-criter-denver-2 the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are connected to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has been stolen twice and was just just recently recuperated. In 1994, during the Winter 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 saying: thanks for the bad security.

3 months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government rejected the deal, however the Norwegian cops collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to request ransom cash, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recovered are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The crime was carefully carried out 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 original painting.

Ultimately, 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 looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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