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



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal activity. When you take a look at the a few of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out 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 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 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 well-known story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings on the planet and one of 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. Right after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the police, but was released rapidly.

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 just carried it hidden under his coat. The criminal activity was carefully 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 hectic creating copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he aimed to make the very best out of his stolen good. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership 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 took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using cops uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took 2 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 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 dealers are linked to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken two times and was only just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, https://www.yelp.com/biz/kurt-criter-denver-2 The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by two thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the bad security.

3 months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government rejected the deal, however the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to demand ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities 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 thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a infamous con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while trying 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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