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



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

The First Theft:
The very first documented 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 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 Presumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft involves among the most popular paintings on the planet and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken out of the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the police, but was released rapidly.

It took about two years till the secret was fixed by the Parisian cops. 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 carried it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was carefully carried out by a infamous bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment or condo. After 2 years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the best out of his stolen good. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the cops while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

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 burglars using cops uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value 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, in addition to 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 recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are linked to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art burglars in history. It has been stolen twice and was just just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by two 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 Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for https://medium.com/@kurtcriter Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government turned down the deal, but the Norwegian cops collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to demand ransom loan, reports declared that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated are not understood.


When you look at the some of Kurt Criter the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 cops while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from https://medium.com/@kurtcriter Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art burglars in history.

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