Famous Art Thefts

Famous Art Thefts

Whether you’re a collector of art, or simply interested in the history of these objects, you may be curious to find out about some of the more famous art thefts in history. In this article, we look at a number of the most famous thefts from museums around the world.

art theft

Goya masterpiece stolen off a truck in Pennsylvania

The FBI announced on Wednesday that it has reclaimed an 18th century masterpiece painted by Spanish engraver Francisco de Goya y Lucientes whose value is estimated to be around $1 million. It was stolen last month from a transit truck en route to the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan. In addition to the art, a few PlayStations were also spirited away.

The aforementioned piece of art was stolen on November 8th while the drivers of a mid-sized white midsize truck were sleeping at a motel in Bartonsville, Pennsylvania. Although the truck had been parked in an unoccupied parking lot, the lock was blown when the drivers returned early the next morning.

Rembrandt’s Landscape with Cottages

Among the various famous art thefts is the one involving Rembrandt’s Landscape with Cottages, a painting whose value soared to more than $1 million. This was probably the most significant piece of art that was stolen in a long time.

There are many other notable thefts, too. One example is the 118 paintings stolen from an exhibition in Avignon, France. Others include the Tete d’Arlequin, a painting reportedly stolen from the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and a high-quality forgery addressed to former Italian Prime Minister Bettino Craxi.

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Madonna of the Yarnwinder”

One of the most famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci is “Madonna of the Yarnwinder“. It has captivated art lovers and historians for centuries. The painting is a depiction of the Virgin Mary cradling an infant Jesus.

The painting is now on display at Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery. Although it is a rare painting, it has been stolen twice. The first time it was stolen was in 2003. In 2007, the painting was recovered.

The second theft was a bit more complicated. A painting attributed to Edgar Degas was taken from the Buehrle Foundation Museum in 2008. Three other masterpieces were also stolen. However, the thieves eluded international investigation.

The Scream and Madonna stolen from a museum in Oslo

“The Scream” is a painting by Edvard Munch, a Norwegian artist. It depicts a figure holding his head in his hands with his mouth wide open. The work is a part of the artist’s “Frieze of Life” series, which focuses on themes of sickness, anxiety, and death.

In 1994, the work was stolen from the National Gallery of Norway in Oslo. The thieves had placed a ladder up to the window of the museum, then forced their way in. They demanded the Madonna and the Scream, the two most famous works of art in the museum.


The world’s famous art heists have occurred throughout history, and the ways in which they were carried out vary. Another famous art theft was the “Mona Lisa” heist. In 1911, an employee of the Louvre museum stole the famous painting. It was later rediscovered.

A much larger heist happened in Sweden, where a team of robbers with submachine guns raided the National Museum in December 2000. They were successful in stealing 13 artworks valued at half a billion dollars. Although some of the stolen goods were returned, most have never been seen.

Famous Art Theft in Films

False Idols by Patrick Lohier, Lisa Klink, and Diana Renn

The crime-thriller from Serial Box, False Idols, is set in the Carioca art world. It is the brainchild of a trio of writers including Patrick Lohier, Lisa Klink, and Diana Renn. As the name suggests, this is a thriller, but it also contains some lighthearted fun along the way.

The story follows FBI linguist Layla el-Deeb as she uses her linguistic prowess to investigate how the lucrative artifact trade is financed. Along the way she meets a fellow art enthusiast, Alberto Rossi, who is a hunk in the making.

Thomas Crown Affair

The Thomas Crown Affair is a 1968 American heist film starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. It was directed by Norman Jewison and nominated for two Academy Awards.

The story follows a wealthy investment banker who steals a priceless Claude Monet painting. He then hires a team of thieves to stage a series of heists. In one of the heists, he uses a clever ruse to return the painting to the museum.

In addition to the original painting, other works of art appear in the movie. Several of them are by Claude Monet.

Phantom of the Louvre

Belphegor-Le fantome du Louvre is a film adaptation of the novel by Arthur Bernede. It is set in the Louvre. This spooky mystery thriller is filled with special effects and graphic scenes.

The movie is co-produced by George Clooney. Belphegor is a malevolent demon. He steals rare Egyptian treasures from the Louvre. However, he is a match for the Louvre security forces.

A mysterious hooded/masked figure is seen floating through the museum. Eventually, he escapes from a laser scanning device.

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