Cases of Theft of Paintings by Familiar Artists in 2012-2019

Cases of Theft of Paintings by Familiar Artists in 2012-2019

The painting “Ai-Petri. Crimea” by Arkhip Kuinji on Sunday was stolen by unknown people from an exhibition at the Tretyakov Gallery. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Culture, the legitimate representative of the Russian Interior Ministry, Irina Volk, for RIA Novosti that police officers were digging the kidnappers.

The following is background information about the problems of painting theft by familiar artists in 2012 – 2019


On January 27, an unknown person kidnapped the picture “Crimea. Ai-Petri” by Arkhip Kuindzhi from the construction of the Tretyakov Gallery at Lavrushinsky Lane in Moscow. The value of insurance, according to information from the Ministry of Culture, is 12 million rubles.

On January 11, a painting attributed to Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo Buonarroti or his students Marcello Venusti was stolen from the Saint Ludger Church in the Zele commune in northwest Belgium Picture of the XVI century “Madonna del Silencio” reflects the holy family and John the Baptist in childhood. Images are created on wooden canvas measuring 14×99 centimeters.


On November 26, a painting by French artist Pierre Auguste Renoir, which allegedly reached 160 thousand euros, was stolen from the location of the Dorotheum auction in Vienna. Supposedly, three men came to the auction residence location at 5:15 in the evening local time. After picking up a picture from the frame, they left the building past the rising door that was opposite and disappeared. Peace cameras record the suspicion of thieves. The police believe that all professionals are working.

On October 27, it was reported that a Moscow art merchant had contacted the police because of the disappearance of Isaac Levitan’s painting, The Last Snow. The applicant is expected to receive a canvas from an entrepreneur to sell, and then give it to an intermediary who stops communicating. The insured value of the painting is 30 thousand dollars.

On June fifteenth, it was discovered that the work of Banksy, a street art artist familiar with “Hunter Trolley” (Hunter Trolley), was stolen from an exhibition in Toronto, Canada. In a video published by the police, a man with a green sweater covered his face and a khaki-colored hat stepped on the room where the exhibition took place. Again he appeared with a portrait in his hand. The work of “Hunter Hunt” is estimated to reach 45 thousand dollars.


On November 16, an unknown person stole a portrait of a familiar Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico from a museum in southern France. Based on information from the prosecutor, the guard of the Fine Arts Museum in the city of Beziers (Hérault department) after the discovery witnessed an empty frame at the location of the image. Presumably, the attacker shaved the canvas with a writing knife. Oil painting “Composition with self-portrait” has been around since 1926. The work is part of the collection of Jean Moulin – a native of Beziers and a hero of the Resistance movement.

On October 6, it is known that at St. Petersburg, paintings of familiar artists Vasily Polenov and Konstantin Korovin were stolen from the apartment of an old woman. The woman estimated the cost of the picture was 18 million rubles. Investigations believe that robbers are aware and have planned to kidnap for a long time because other retired valuables are not sent.

On September 30, a painting by familiar French artist Pierre Auguste Renoir “Portrait of a young blonde girl” stolen from an auction residence located west of Paris in the city of Saint-Germain-en-Leu, the location of the work was prepared for auction. Renoir’s work is felt like the main lot of 485 planned auction items. The committee wants to get 25-30 thousand euros for the portrait.

In April, in Monza (Italy), paintings of Rubens “Holy Family and Holy Anne” and Renoir “Girls in the Meadow” were stolen. In June 2018, law enforcement officers took five suspects in the theft of paintings. The kidnappers contacted two art merchants, disguised as Israeli businessmen and rabbis. The fraudsters wrote they were ready to pay 26 million euros for the activity. During the meeting, the paintings were placed in the trunk of a car, where all fraudsters fled from the seller. Investigations say that all criminals will plant them in the market again, but don’t have time to sell them back.


In June, five paintings worth 30 million euros were stolen from the individual homes of an English expressionist colleague familiar to Francis Bacon. This is the biggest theft of paintings in Spain in many decades. The masterpiece kidnaps from the location where someone lives with J.C. B. (his full name is not stated), a Spanish according to citizenship, a colleague and heir of Bacon, who died in Madrid in 1992


On November 19, a group of armed criminals robbed the museum of the city of Castelvecchio in Verona, whose collection of works was valued at Tintoretto, Rubens, Pisanello, Andrea Mantegna, Jacopo Bellini, and other masters of familiar paintings were stolen. Threatening with weapons, the three criminals tied up the only armed guards who were at that time in Castelvecchio castle, as well as the cashier. Other museum employees were forced to open access to the gallery for all robbers, where they published 15 paintings from the wall. Among the stolen works are five Tintoretto canvas, as well as Madonna who is familiar with Partridge by Pisanello, which is felt first among the paintings of this spectacular Renaissance artist.

September 10, the media reported that nine paintings by American artist Andy Warhol worth 350,000 dollars were stolen in Los Angeles. Based on information from the police, all the attackers changed the original paintings, which were created with silk screen printing tips, to use fake ones. When precisely the replacement is carried out is unknown, the experienced can only decide that the plague was carried out in the last three years. The substitution was revealed after two pictures were sent to the framing workshop to replace the frame, and the workshop owner concluded that he had been given a hoax that did not have the author’s signature.

In mid-July, the painting “Sea on the Island of Capri” by Ivan Aivazovsky, “Head of a Jerusalem Jew” by Vasily Polenov and “Crucifixion with Forthcoming and Saint Francis of Assisi” by an unknown artist was stolen from the Tarusa Art Gallery in the Kaluga Region. A month later, the paintings were found. Aivazovsky and Polenov canvases were confiscated from Kaluga prisoners, and police found the third picture among pawnshops in the capital.


On September 29, in Limassol (Cyprus), Impressionist painting Edgar Degas “The Dancer Correcting a Slipper” was stolen, worth six million euros. On October 5, a Russian citizen Sergei Tyulenev was arrested on charges of working on a crime, which was later released because the investigation did not pursue evidence of his wrongdoing.

In August, five paintings were stolen from the museums of Levitan artists in the city of Pleso, Ivanovo Region: “Ravine Behind the Fence,” “Silent River,” “Polustank,” “River Backwater” and “Roses.” For this fact, a criminal problem was opened under the words “theft of merchandise with certain values.” The total value stolen is estimated at 195 million rubles. The accomplices failed to market the paintings, and in 2016 they were found and confiscated by law enforcement officers at the location of one of the gangsters. After working on the necessary checks, the paintings are reversed to the museum and displayed again.


On December 30, it was discovered that Ivan Aivazovsky’s painting “Seascape in the Crimea,” worth more than 40 thousand dollars, disappeared from the Kyrgyz National Museum. The loss of a painting by a familiar Russian artist was found on the morning after the company party, which was held by the museum staff in the lobby of the building.

On August 25, three unknown people kidnapped paintings by Ivan Shishkin, Konstantin Korovin, and Stanislav Zhukovsky from a museum in the city of Vyazniki, Vladimir Region. Masked criminals at night, hiding at the site of the Vyaznikovsky Museum of Art and History, tying guards and kidnapping paintings by familiar Russian artists.

On July 16 thieves, breaking windows, stepping on the Van Buren Museum in Brussels (Belgium) and in two minutes kidnapping ten paintings worth two million dollars. Despite the alarm, they successfully left the scene before the police arrived. Valuable pictures are Dutch artist “Philosopher” Kees van Dongen and “Shrimp and shells” by Belgian painter James Ensor – the painting is 80 percent of the total value of the stolen item.


On November 30, an unknown person kidnapped a painting by Eugène Delacroix from an art gallery on Rue Saint-Honore in central Paris. The attacker successfully secretly removed from the 19×11 centimeter wall picture, after which he escaped from the scene. The cost of stolen watercolor for 650 thousand euros.

On November 11, all attackers, after connecting all carers, were carried out from the gallery of the Pretoria Art Museum, the capital of South Africa, urgent works for the history of national painting as “Fishing Boat” by Irma Stern, “Portrait of Hottentot Head” Hugo Naude, ” Cats with Petunia “Maggie Lobster,” Antelope and “Pirneef and Street Scene” Gerard Sekoto. The total cost of stolen paintings exceeded two million dollars. On November 13, South African police chased four of the five paintings in a private cemetery, the location of stacked artwork under the bench next to the warning wall, among the paintings found there were missing from costly paintings – “Street Scene” by Gerard Sekoto, allegedly reaching 800 thousand dollars.

On October 16, it was discovered about the theft of paintings by familiar artists from the Künsthal Museum in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. The criminals carry the canvas “Head of Harlequin” by Pablo Picasso, “Girl Reading” by Henri Matisse, “Waterloo Bridge” and “Charing Bridge” by Claude Monet, “Woman in Front of the Open Window” by Paul Gauguin, “Self-portrait” by Meyer de Hahn and “Woman with a Self-portrait” closed eyes “Lucien Freud. The stolen paintings were worth 100 million euros. Suspected of being plunged into the crime were charged with many Romanian citizens. Based on information from the investigation, many stolen paintings could be burned.

In mid-June, a picture was stolen from Pierre-Auguste Renoir and ten images of Picasso from a location where a businessman lived in the city of Olomouc in the Czech Republic. The owner of the painting estimates that the costs were stolen around 21 million dollars. The criminals, after breaking into a 51-year-old businessman’s home and using violence, forced him to give keys to the safe.

On June 19, an unknown person kidnapped a painting by Spanish artist Salvador Dali “Don Juan Tenorio” from a gallery in Manhattan in New York (USA). The painting allegedly reached 150 thousand dollars. The surveillance camera records a man in a checkered shirt, who steps on the gallery with a black bag. After a certain amount of time, the man fell back into the camera’s visibility zone – he carried a bag with a picture.

On January 9, three paintings were stolen from the National Gallery in Athens. Among the stolen works is a painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. Another stolen art is the brush of a Dutch artist Pete Mondrian, among the founders of abstract paintings. The third plagiarized work – graphic, belongs to the seventeenth-century Italian artist, Guglielmo Caccia, nicknamed Moncalvo.

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