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



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

The First Theft:
The very first documented case of art theft remained in 1473, when two panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were stolen. 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves among the most famous 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 out of the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the cops, but was released quickly.

It took about two years up until the mystery was solved by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely carried it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was carefully conducted by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he tried to make the finest out of his taken good. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by https://myspace.com/kurtcriter the police while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Greatest Theft in the U.S.A:
The biggest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using police uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars 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.

As of yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealerships are connected to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken two times and was only recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars 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 refused the offer, but the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities awaiting the burglars to request ransom money, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated are not known yet.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that include art dealerships, 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 well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly conducted by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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