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



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal offense. When you look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can read about a few of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first documented case of art theft remained 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 assaulted 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings worldwide 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. Right after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the authorities, but was launched quickly.

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. The crime was carefully performed by a notorious 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 original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
The most significant 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 broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent Kurt Criter Denver reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are linked to the criminal activity.

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

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

10 years later on, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to request ransom cash, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Eventually, the Norwegian police discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however 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 prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The https://medium.com/@kurtcriter criminal activity was carefully performed by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 cops while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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