Art Theft: The A Lot Of Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal activity. When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out some of the most well-known 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 stolen. While the triptych was being carried 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 involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of 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 cops, however was released rapidly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was fixed by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just brought it hidden under his coat. Nevertheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly conducted by a infamous con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic creating copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using police uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value Kurt Criter Denver was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are connected 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 two times and was just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season 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 bad security.

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

While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to demand ransom cash, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recovered are not known.


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

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying to sell the painting to an art dealer from 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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