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



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

The First Theft:
The 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 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 revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings worldwide and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the authorities, but was released rapidly.

It took about two years up until the mystery was solved by the Parisian police. 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 merely carried it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly carried out by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias house. After two years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the very best out of his stolen great. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The greatest 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 cops uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, along with 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 reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are connected 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 actually been stolen twice and was only just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season 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 saying: thanks for the poor security.

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

10 years later on, The Scream was taken once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting on the thieves to demand ransom loan, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recovered are not known.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully conducted by a infamous con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard https://www.spokeo.com/Kurt-Criter Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history.

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