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



Art theft is an ancient and complex crime. When you take a look at the some of the most famous 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 read about some of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very first recorded case of art theft was in 1473, when 2 panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were taken. While the triptych was being transferred 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves among the most well-known paintings on the planet and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the cops, but was released quickly.

It took about two years until the mystery was solved by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it hidden under his coat. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was thoroughly performed by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias house. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the cops while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing authorities uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value 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 actually been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob together 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 burglars in history. It has been stolen twice and was just just recently recovered. 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 saying: thanks for the bad security.

3 months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government denied the deal, but the Norwegian police worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to demand ransom money, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities 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 popular 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 popular paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter in history as a suspect. The crime was thoroughly carried out by a notorious con male, 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.

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

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Comments on “Art Theft: One Of The Most Intriguing and Famous Cases in History”

Leave a Reply

Gravatar