Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal activity. When you look at the a few of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out a few of the most well-known cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first recorded case of art theft was 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 assaulted 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 popular story of art theft involves among the most popular paintings worldwide and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the authorities, but was released rapidly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it hidden under his coat. The criminal offense was thoroughly performed by a well-known con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment or condo. After 2 years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he tried to make the best out of his stolen excellent. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police 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 U.S.A:
The biggest 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 authorities uniforms burglarized the museum and took https://medium.com/@kurtcriter thirteen paintings whose cumulative 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.

As of yet, none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with recent rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are linked to the criminal offense.

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 recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

3 months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government declined the offer, but the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to Kurt Criter demand ransom loan, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian police discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths on how they were recuperated are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully conducted by a infamous con guy, 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 caught by the authorities while attempting to sell 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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