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



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal offense. When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealers, 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 recorded case of art theft was in 1473, when 2 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 shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and among the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the cops, however was launched rapidly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was solved by the Parisian authorities. 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. Nevertheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was thoroughly performed by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The greatest 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 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, as well as a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to current rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealerships are connected to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken two times and was only recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two burglars who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later, 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 Federal government refused the offer, but the Norwegian cops worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation https://soundcloud.com/kurt-criter that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to demand ransom cash, reports declared that both paintings were Kurt Criter burned to conceal evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian police discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities 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 planned operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous 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 carefully conducted by a notorious con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out 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 police while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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