Mona Lisa Vanishes (1911)
On 21st August 1911, it was discovered that Leonardo da Vinci's world renowned painting, 'Mona Lisa', had vanished from the Louvre.
Although French detectives tirelessly searched for the painting, it's whereabouts remained unknown for more than two years. That was until December 1913, when an Italian painter named Vincenzo Peruggia, contacted a prominent art dealer in Florence, claiming to be in possession of the famed painting.
Police soon arrested Perrugia - a former Louvre employee - who stated that he had simply walked into the museum, removed the painting from its frame and left with the painting under his clothes. Perrugia served 6 months jail time for the crime.
The Scream gets stolen. Twice. (1994 and 2004)
It’s extremely lucky that Norwegian painter, Edvard Munch, painted multiple versions of 'The Scream', as the painting has been stolen twice in the past two decades.
The first theft occurred in 1994, when four men broke into the National Art Museum in Oslo - not only stealing their version of the painting, but also leaving behind a note that read, 'Thanks for the poor security'. Thankfully, the painting was found by authorities three months later.
The second theft occurred in 2004, when two armed robbers entered Oslo's Munch Museum. Whilst holding tourists at gunpoint, they ripped Munch's paintings 'The Scream' and 'The Madonna' from the wall. In 2006, the perpetrators were apprehended and the painting recovered, but unfortunately, both paintings had sustained significant damage.
Fake Police Officers Loot Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (1990)
On the night of the 18th March 1990, two thieves disguised as police officers entered Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, informing guards that they were investigating a disturbance.
The fake police officers were waved in and managed to steal 13 works of art, including paintings by renowned artists, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Manet.
Although the incident sparked a high profile FBI investigation and the museum offered a $5 million reward, the thieves and artworks remain at large to this day.
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