Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal offense. When you take a look at the a few of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include 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 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 taken. While the triptych was being transported by ship from the Netherlands to Florence, the ship was attacked 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 Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings on the planet 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 authorities, however was launched rapidly.

It took about 2 years till the secret was solved by the Parisian police. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it hidden under his coat. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 hectic developing copies for the well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the finest from his taken great. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the cops while attempting to sell 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 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 using cops uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value 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 been found and the case is still unsolved. According to current rumors, the FBI are investigating https://myspace.com/kurtcriter the possibility that the Boston Mob together 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 been stolen twice and was only just recently recuperated. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government rejected the offer, but the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to demand ransom cash, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Eventually, the Norwegian police found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated are not known.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was carefully performed by a well-known con man, 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.

Ultimately, 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 sought after painting by art burglars in history.

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