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



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

The First Theft:
The first documented 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 carried by ship from the Netherlands to Florence, the ship was attacked 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 Assumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most famous 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 taken from the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the police, but was launched quickly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it concealed under his coat. The criminal activity was thoroughly performed by a infamous con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment or condo. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant Theft in the U.S.A:
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 cops uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took two 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 actually been found and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with recent reports, the FBI are examining 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 demanded painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been stolen two times and was just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves 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 Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government declined the deal, however the Norwegian cops collaborated with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was stolen once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars utilized a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to request ransom cash, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian police discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of the most popular 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 well-known 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 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 original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the police while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Kurt Criter Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by https://medium.com/@kurtcriter art burglars in history.

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