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



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal activity. When you look at the a few of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can read 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 shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

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

It took about two years up until the secret was solved by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely carried it concealed under his coat. Nevertheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a well-known con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out 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 developing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias home. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest 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 wearing police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was estimated https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. According to current reports, the FBI are investigating 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 searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been taken twice https://medium.com/@kurtcriter and was just recently recuperated. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, set off 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 deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government rejected the deal, however the Norwegian police teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to demand ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths 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 prepared operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully carried out by a notorious con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

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

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