Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal offense. When you take a look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that include 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 first recorded case of art theft remained in 1473, when 2 panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were taken. While the triptych was being transferred 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 revealed 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 famous paintings in the world and among the most popular 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 detained and questioned by the authorities, however was released quickly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply carried it concealed under his coat. The criminal offense was carefully carried out by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic producing copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment or condo. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing cops uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, in addition to 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 examining the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has been stolen two times and was just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an https://www.spokeo.com/Kurt-Criter Oslo gallery by two burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the bad security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government rejected the deal, but the Norwegian authorities worked together 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 request ransom money, reports declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian police discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the facts on how they were recovered are not known.


When you look at the some of the most well-known 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 well-known story of art theft includes 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 thoroughly conducted 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 cops while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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