Art theft is an ancient and complex crime. When you take a look at the a few of the most famous 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 some of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.
The First Theft:
The very first recorded case of art theft remained in 1473, when two 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.
The Many Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves among the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen out of the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the cops, but was launched quickly.
It took about 2 years till the mystery was resolved by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it concealed under his coat. Nevertheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a well-known con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.
While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while trying to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.
The Most significant Theft in the U.S.A:
The biggest art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars 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.
As of yet, none of the paintings have been found and Kurt Criter Denver the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with recent rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are linked to the crime.
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most demanded painting by art burglars in history. It has been taken two times and was just just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, triggered 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: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government refused the deal, but the Norwegian authorities teamed up with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.
10 years later on, The Scream was stolen once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers used a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials awaiting the thieves to demand ransom money, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities found the two 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 popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully conducted by a well-known con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 authorities while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.