The abduction of "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci
More than a hundred years ago, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece Mona Lisa became the most famous painting in the world after it was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris on August 21, 1911.
Stolen by a certain Vincenzo Peruggia, who claimed that he had fallen in love with Mona Lisa as soon as he looked into her eyes, the painting had been in his kitchen for two years. “Gioconda”, another name for this unique painting, became a worldwide sensation. Fame has benefited in the search for the picture, because it was impossible to sell it to any collector who was ready to fork out.
Peruggia, a worker from Paris, who once worked in the Louvre, simply took a picture off the wall on the day the museum was closed and left the building, hiding the masterpiece under his clothes. Although the thief claimed that he had stolen the painting for patriotic reasons, the prospect of making a fortune from the sale of the canvas was a true motive for theft. Italians, of course, never forgot about the origin of the painting, so they actively supported returning the canvas to Florence. This robbery has become one of the most famous abductions of paintings in history.
The largest robbery of the American Museum of Art
On March 18, 1990, the thieves disguised as police entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and carried out the largest robbery in US history, which has not yet been solved. Thieves handcuffed the night watchmen of the museum under the pretext that they had a warrant for their arrest.
Despite the fact that they were captured by security cameras and detected motion sensors, the criminals stayed at the crime scene for 81 minutes and no one stopped them. According to some estimates, the cost of one of the stolen paintings was 200 million dollars. This is the “Concert” by Jan Vermeer, written in the second half of the 17th century.
Also among the 13 stolen masterpieces was the painting by Rembrandt “Storm on the Sea of Galilee”. The cost of all the stolen paintings was estimated at 300 million dollars, but some experts argued that these paintings could cost much more. Many paintings were cut from their frames, which allowed the investigators to assume that the criminals did not really understand something in art.
Robbery of the Munch Museum in Oslo
On August 22, 2004, armed men in masks penetrated into the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway in broad daylight, and stole two paintings by Edvard Munch “Scream” and “Madonna”. The masterpieces were found by the police in 2006, and each of the paintings showed signs of damage, so it took another 2 years to restore them before they returned to their place in the museum.
“Scream” - the most famous painting of the artist and one of the most recognizable in the world. Its cost is 82 million dollars, according to the publication of The Telegraph.
Robbery Museum in Zurich
In February 2008, armed men broke into the Museum of the Émile Bürle Foundation Collection in Zurich, Switzerland, and stole 4 masterpieces, totaling $ 140 million. This is the largest theft of works of art in Swiss history.
"Poppy field near Veteuil" Claude Monet
The painting “Poppy field near Veteuil” by Claude Monet was one of the stolen paintings. Also, the criminals took away such masterpieces as "Louis Lepick and his daughters" by Edgar Degas, "Flowering branches of chestnut" by Vincent Van Gogh and "The Boy in the Red Vest" by Paul Cezanne. Pictures of Van Gogh and Monet were quickly discovered by the police and returned to the museum, the rest disappeared without a trace.
Robbery of the museum Stedelek in Amsterdam
On May 21, 1988, the robbers smashed a window on the first floor of the Stedelek Museum in Amsterdam, Holland, and stole 3 paintings totaling $ 52 million, according to the Associated Press. Today, the cost of these paintings is 100 million dollars, taking into account inflation.
This robbery was the largest in Dutch history, but fortunately, the paintings were found after 2 weeks, when the criminals made an attempt to sell the prey.
One of the most famous and recognizable paintings of Van Gogh series "Sunflowers" (second version of 1889) was one of the stolen works.
Robbery Museum in Rio de Janeiro
The Luxembourg Garden by Henri Matisse was one of the paintings stolen from the Museum of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On February 24, 2006, when the entire city rested during the annual Carnival, four armed men robbed the museum and hid with the works of such famous artists as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet.
The paintings have not yet been found, and their value has not been established, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Abduction of the “Madonna with the Spindle” by Leonardo da Vinci
"Mona Lisa" - not the only picture of Leonardo da Vinci, which once laid an eye robbers. In August 2003, under the guise of simple tourists, the criminals visited the Drumlanrig Castle in Scotland and took the picture of the “Madonna with the Spindle” with them, hiding in a Volkswagen Golf car. The castle’s museum contains famous paintings by such artists as Da Vinci, Rembrandt and Hans Holbein with a total value of about $ 650 million.
Leonardo's canvas, written by a famous artist 500 years ago, is estimated at $ 65 million. Fortunately, it was discovered 4 years later in Glasgow. Four people were arrested and convicted for involvement in the crime.
Robbery of the National Museum in Stockholm
On December 22, 2000, Pierre Auguste Renoir’s Young Parisian and Conversation with the Gardener, as well as Rembrandt’s self-portrait, disappeared from the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. Three men, one of whom threatened the security guard with a submachine gun, managed to escape with famous canvases in just a few minutes.
According to BBC News, the police suspect that the robbers were assisted in the commission of this crime. At the time when a crime was committed in the museum, the police were distracted by a call about a car that had caught fire, and just at that moment when the alarm went off in the museum.
A “conversation with the gardener” was unexpectedly discovered during a raid on drug dealers, and two other paintings were found in 2005. According to the FBI, the total value of these three paintings is $ 30 million.
Robbery of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
The robbery of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (Holland) in April 1991, which resulted in the stealing of 20 canvases, can be called the most quickly discovered theft of paintings in history. All the works were discovered after 35 minutes in the car of the kidnappers, as reported by the New York Times.
Robbers committed a crime after they hid in a museum after it was closed. At about 3 o'clock in the morning they got out of the shelter, wearing masked stockings with eye openings in order to hide their personalities.
Among the stolen paintings was the painting “Potato Eaters” by Van Gogh from his early work. The total value of all the stolen paintings is about 500 million dollars. Unfortunately, almost all the paintings were damaged.