Art Theft: The Many Interesting and Famous Cases in History



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

The First Theft:
The very 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 transported 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 A Lot Of Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings worldwide and among the most famous 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, however was released 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 carried it hidden under his coat. The criminal activity was thoroughly performed by a infamous con man, 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.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic creating copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias house. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
The greatest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing cops uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth 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, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to current rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has been stolen two times and was only recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government declined the deal, but the Norwegian authorities collaborated with the https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was taken again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting on the thieves to demand ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian cops found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recovered are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly performed by a well-known con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history.

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