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



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

The First Theft:
The 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 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves among the most well-known 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 from the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the authorities, but was launched quickly.

It took about two years until the secret was resolved by the Parisian police. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was carefully conducted by a infamous bilker, 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 concealed at Peruggias home. After two years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he attempted to make the best out of his stolen good. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Most significant Theft in the USA:
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 wearing police uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves 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 found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has been stolen two times and was only just recently recuperated. In 1994, during the Winter Season 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 poor security.

3 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 Government declined the deal, however the Norwegian police teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to demand ransom money, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recovered are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was carefully performed by a well-known con male, 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 police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for https://www.pinterest.com/kurtcriter/ after painting by art burglars in history.

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