Famous Art Heists

Today marks the 20th anniversary of one of the biggest of art heists of all time. On March 18, 1990 at 1:24am, two men disguised as Boston police officers enters the Gardner museum in Boston. They fooled the guards into believing that they were real policemen responding to an emergency call, managed to handcuff and bind them with duct tape, then threw them into the basement. In the next 80 minutes, the two men robbed the museum of over $500 million in masterpieces, including Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, and Manet. In total, thirteen pieces.

Vermeer's "The Concert", considered the most valuable stolen painting in the world

Vermeer's "The Concert", considered the most valuable stolen painting in the world

20 years later, the criminals still haven’t been caught, but the FBI has stepped up their efforts, both using new technology like digital billboards, as well as offering a $5 million dollar reward. So if you’ve seen any of these paintings

What are some other famous art thefts?

– The Mona Lisa was stolen in 1911 by an employee, who was caught after two years.

    The Mona Lisa now sits safely on the walls of the Louvre in Paris, France.

    – Stephane Breitwieser, AKA the “Art Collector”, confessed to stealing 238 works of art and other exhibits from museums touring Europe. He wanted to build a massive personal collection. Unfortunately for Breitwieser and the world, his mother, Mireille Stengal, took an axe to over 60 paintings in what was possibly an effort to remove incriminating evidence against her son. What a shame. She shredded the canvasses and tossed much of his collection into the Rhine-Rhone River. Antiques worth £6.5 million were retrieved from the river.

      The Princess of Cleves by Lucas Cranach, one of the dozens of artworks destroyed by Breitwieser's mother

      – Jacob de Gheyn III: Rembrandt’s painting, Jacob de Gheyn III has been stolen four times, making it the world’s most stolen painting.

        Jacob de Gheyn III by Rembrant, the world's most stolen painting


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