History has seen many incidents of art theft; mysteries that left the world baffled and cases that still remain unsolved. Art, no doubt, has always been the commodity, hence the high number of art theft cases around the globe. However, contrary to the popular belief and to what the movies and fiction books might tell you, art theft isn’t mostly done by art lovers who want an original piece of work or by someone who wishes to sell it on worth gazillions. Because once an art has gone missing, no one will buy it off you without reporting you in anyway. Most of the art heist cases seen till today have been as bait or for reasons that have nothing to do with love of art. Many of these cases have been related to drug deals. So, to further amuse you, today we present four art heist stories that you mightn’t have heard of:
Chacara de Ceu Museum, February, 25th, 2006
On the day of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival, the world saw one of the most audacious robbery of art industry. Taking cover of a massive crowd that was taking part in the carnival, dressed up and masked, these gunmen stole some of the most treasured masterpieces by artists such as Picasso, Monet, Dalf and Matisse. According to an estimate, these paintings were worth around £30 million. The incident took place at Chacara de Ceu Museum in Brazil.
This might just be the simplest of robberies ever – One fine day in 1911, one of Louver’s employee decided to randomly walk in, take Mona Lisa off the wall, put it in his coat and leisurely walk away. This was, as turns out, was done in order to “Reclaim” and take back Mona Lisa to the country where it really belonged. It took the police 2 years to catch him, after he tried to sell the painting in Preugia, Italy. He was sentenced for a year, however Louvre learnt the lesson from this incident and their security improved considerably.
Munch Museum, 2004
In 2004, in a dracmatic and rather traumatizing incident at Munch Museum, a couple of gunmen walked in and took two of Edward Munch’s masterpieces in Scream series while the security watched in distress, not being able to do anything about it. These thieves were caught in 2006, however there was considerable damage done to the paintings before they were retrieved. It is said that half of Edward Munch’s Scream masterpieces have been stolen at multiple occasions over the years.
Vincent Van Gogh Museum, 1991
In a rather funny incident, one fine day a couple of thieves enter Amsterdam’s famous Vincen Van Gogh Museum and managed to steal away twenty paintings. However, later on these paintings were retrieved perfectly fine lying in an abandoned getaway vehicle only a few hours later – much to the relief of the museum and Van Gogh’s art lovers.
Above stories of art theft are basically stories with happy endings. There are several stories with unsolved mysteries as well.