Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal activity. When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out about a few of the most well-known 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 stolen. While the triptych was being transferred 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 popular story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings on the planet and one of the most famous 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 detained and questioned by the authorities, but was released rapidly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was solved by the Parisian cops. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it concealed under his coat. Nonetheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended 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. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing cops uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth 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, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are linked to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken two times and was only just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter 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 saying: thanks for the poor security.

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

Ten years later on, The Scream was taken once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars utilized a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting on the thieves to demand ransom loan, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the facts on how they were recuperated are unknowned yet.


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. The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the cops 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 burglars in history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *