Art Theft: The Many Intriguing and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient crime. When you take a look at the a few of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless 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 attacked 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes among the most well-known paintings in the world 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 out of the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended 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 workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely carried it hidden under his coat. The criminal activity 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 original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic developing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the U.S.A:
The greatest art theft in United States took location at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using authorities uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, as well as 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 current rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are connected to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been taken twice and was only recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout 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 poor 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 refused the deal, however the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Police 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 again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials awaiting the thieves to demand ransom money, reports declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Eventually, the Norwegian cops found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recuperated are not known.


When you look at the some 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. The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a infamous con man, 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.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. https://www.yelp.com/biz/kurt-criter-denver-2 The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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