Art Theft: The Many Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal activity. 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 countless dollars. Here you can check out about a few of the most well-known cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very first recorded case of art theft remained in 1473, when two 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings worldwide 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 detained and questioned by the police, but was launched 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 brought it hidden under his coat. The crime was thoroughly performed by a infamous con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. After 2 years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the very best out of his taken excellent. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the police while aiming 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 biggest 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 burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, as https://medium.com/@kurtcriter well as a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are connected to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably 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 2 burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: 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 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, 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 authorities waiting on the burglars to demand ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian cops discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recovered are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense 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 offer them as if they were the original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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