Below is a list of the most Famous and Valuable
Thefts of Art.
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da
Vinci, stolen - 1911
The Mona Lisa, valued at about US $713 million in
2010, was stolen on the 21st of August 1911 from the
Louvre Museum in Paris.
A Louvre employee named Vincenzo Peruggia, stole
the Painting after entering the Building during
opening hours, hid in a broom closet, then made off
with the Painting under his coat after the Museum had
closed. Peruggia was an Italian patriot, who stated
Leonardo's Painting should be displayed in an Italian
Peruggia was caught after attempting to sell the
Mona Lisa to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The
Painting was exhibited around Italy before returning
to the Louvre in 1913.
The Storm on the Sea of
Galilee by Rembrandt, stolen - 1990
The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, and 12 other
Paintings, were taken from the Isabella Stewart
Gardner Museum in Boston on the 18th of March 1990,
with the thieves being disguised as Police.
This is claimed to be the largest Art Theft in US
history, still unsolved. The estimated value of all
the Paintings is said to be around $500 million.
Stolen were Vermeer's The Concert, Rembrandt's A
Lady and Gentleman in Black, Self-Portrait, Govaert
Flinck's Landscape with Obelisk, and Manet's Chez
As the local Police and FBI have failed to solve
the case, a Reward is being offered for any
information leading to the return of the 13
Paintings. The Paintings empty frames are still
displayed in the Museum, awaiting their return.
Poppies Near Vetheuil by
Monet, stolen - 2008
Poppies near Vetheuil was one of four Paintings
taken from Zurich's Emil Buehrle Collection by an
Armed Gang in February 2008, value around $160
A week after the theft, Monet's Poppies near
Vetheuil from 1879, and Van Gogh's Chestnut in Bloom
from 1890, were found in an abandoned car parked
outside a hospital in Zurich.
Degas' Count Lepic and his Daughters from 1871,
and Cezanne's Boy in a Red Jacket from 1888, are
Maya With Doll by Pablo
Picasso, stolen 2007
Maya With Doll was one of two Oil Paintings by
Pablo Picasso, valued about $66 million, stolen on
the 28th of February 2007. The other Painting was
Portrait of Jacqueline.
The Paintings were taken in Paris from the home of
Diana Widmaier-Picasso, Granddaughter of Picasso.
Both Paintings were found on the 7th August 2007.
Three people in Paris were arrested.
The Madonna of the Yarnwinder by Leonardo da
Vinci, stolen - 2003
The Madonna of the Yarnwinder, valued in 2008 at
£15m - £20m, was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle near
Dumfries in southwest Scotland.
Two Thieves, thought to be Visitors, overpowered a
woman Guide at the Duke of Buccleuch's Castle and
made off with the Masterpiece.
Three Lawyers, and two clients of a firm of
Private Investigators in Liverpool, were arrested for
trying to extort £4.25m from the Duke by threatening
to damage or destroy the Painting. The Painting can
again be viewed at the Castle.
View of the Sea at Scheveningen by Van Gogh,
View of the Sea at Scheveningen was one of two
Paintings by Van Gogh, valued around 30 million
dollars, taken from the Vincent van Gogh Museum in
Amsterdam on the 7th December 2002. The other
painting was Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church
Thieves used a ladder to break in through a window
high in the Building, taking just a few minutes to
remove the two pictures from the main Exhibition
Hall. Two men were arrested soon after, but the
Paintings still have not been found.
The Scream by Edward Munch, stolen 2004
The Scream was one of two Paintings by the
Norwegian artist Edward Munch, stolen from the Oslo
Munch Museum by two men wearing masks, valued around
30 million dollars. The other Painting was
A Thief threatened Visitors and Museum Staff with
a Pistol while the other took the Paintings from the
walls. The two men escaped in a black Audi with a
driver waiting for them. Both Paintings were found in
2006 with some damage. After restoration, they were
displayed again in the Oslo Museum from the 21st May
The Flagellation of Christ
by Piero della Francesco, stolen - February 1975
Two Paintings by Piero della Francesco, The
Flagellation of Christ and The Madonna of Senigallia,
and also a Raphael, The Mute, were taken from their
frames from the Ducal Palace, Urbino in Italy.
This was claimed to be the Art Crime of the
century. The theft was carried out by Local Criminals
who hoped to sell the work on the international
market. The Paintings were found undamaged at Locarno
in Switzerland in March 1976.
The Flagellation of Christ can be seen at the
National Gallery of the Marche, in the Ducal Palace,
a Renaissance Building in the Italian city of Urbino,
listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, about 40 miles
south of Rimini on the east coast of Italy.
The Duke of Wellington by
Goya, stolen - 1965
In 1961, the American collector Charles Wrightsman
bought Goya's Portrait of the Duke of Wellington for
$392,000, with intentions of taking the Painting to
the United States. There was such a public outrage,
the British Government had to buy the Painting to
keep it in the country.
Under three weeks of it being displayed in the
National Gallery, it was Stolen with the thief
demanding a Ransom, claiming he would give the Money
In 1965, the thief sent a ticket to the Daily
Mirror Newspaper for the Painting to be found in a
Railway Baggage Office. The thief was an unemployed
Bus Driver named Kempton Bunton, that turned himself
in to the Police six weeks later. He stated he had
intended to use the money to buy TV Licenses for the
Poor. He served three months in Jail. The Painting
can be viewed at the The National Gallery,
Trafalgar Square, London.
Impression Sunrise by
Claude Monet, stolen - 1985
Monet’s Impression Sunrise, was the most known of
nine Paintings stolen from the Paris Marmottan Museum
valued at $12.5 million.
Several Paintings stolen from a French Museum in
1984 were found in Japan. This led Police to
investigate Art Theft Gangs with connections in
Japan. The Police picked up seven people in 1990
after the Paintings were found in an apartment in the
Town of Porto-Vecchio / southern Corsica. The
Paintings were taken by Philippe Jamin and Youssef
Khimoun. Since 1991, they have been displayed back in
the Musee Marmottan Monet