Art Theft: The Most Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complicated and ancient crime. When you look at the a few of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out some of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very 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 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most well-known 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 detained and questioned by the cops, but was released rapidly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it concealed under his coat. The crime was carefully performed by a infamous con guy, 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.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he attempted to make the best from his taken good. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The most significant art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using police uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative 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, as well as a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been taken two times and was just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government denied 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 robbers utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to demand ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths on how they were recovered are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that involve art dealerships, art https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter 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 notorious con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell 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 probably the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history.

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