Art theft is an complex and ancient crime. When you take a look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out about some 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 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.
One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings in the world and among the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken out of the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the authorities, however was released rapidly.
It took about two years till the secret was resolved by the Parisian police. It ended up 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 activity was carefully conducted by a infamous bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant 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 work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias home. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.
The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
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 authorities uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value 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, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.
Since yet, none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with recent reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are connected to the crime.
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken twice and was only recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.
Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government denied the deal, however the Norwegian authorities teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.
While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to request ransom cash, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recovered are not known.
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Ultimately, Peruggia was Kurt Criter captured by the cops while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, https://soundcloud.com/kurt-criter The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art burglars in history.