Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated crime. When you take a look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can read about a few of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first documented case of art theft was in 1473, when two 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 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.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves among the most famous 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 taken out of the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the authorities, however was launched quickly.

It took about 2 years until the mystery was fixed by the Parisian cops. 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 concealed under his coat. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was thoroughly performed by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic creating copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment. After 2 years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the finest out of his stolen good. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the cops while aiming to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
The most significant art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing cops uniforms burglarized the museum and https://www.spokeo.com/Kurt-Criter took thirteen paintings whose collective value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took 2 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 current rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been taken twice and was only just recently recuperated. In 1994, during 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 bad security.

3 months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Kurt Criter Munchs The Scream. The Government refused the offer, but the Norwegian police teamed up with the British Police and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was taken once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to demand ransom loan, reports declared that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian cops discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however 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 involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully performed by a well-known con male, Eduardo Kurt Criter de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the cops while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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