The Most Famous Art Thief: Ranking a Legendary figure in Global Art Theft

Choose the art thief you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 9, 2024 08:02
Welcome to StrawPoll's thrilling ranking of "Who is the most famous art thief?"! Ever been fascinated by the daring heists and cunning schemes of art thieves in movies and stories? Now's your chance to dive into the intriguing world of real-life art bandits! We've compiled a list of the most notorious and enigmatic art thieves who've managed to baffle authorities, evade capture, and steal some of the world's most priceless masterpieces. Unleash your inner detective and explore the captivating tales of these elusive criminals. Cast your vote for the most famous art thief or suggest a missing mastermind to the list. Are you ready to embark on this exhilarating journey into the shadowy world of art theft? The game is afoot!

Who Is the Most Famous Art Thief?

  1. 1
    Vincenzo Peruggia
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Peruggia is famous for stealing the Mona Lisa in 1911 from the Louvre museum in Paris.
    Vincenzo Peruggia in other rankings
  2. 2
    Stephane Breitwieser
    Jef-Infojef (talk · contribs) · CC BY-SA 2.5
    Breitwieser is known for stealing over 200 artworks from museums across Europe from 1995 to 2001.
  3. 3
    Connor is a notorious art thief who has stolen numerous paintings, including a Rembrandt and a Vermeer.
  4. 4
    Dugdale is an Irish activist and art thief who stole paintings from Russborough House in 1974.
  5. 5
    Chasseuil is a French art collector who was convicted of stealing over 200 works of art from museums in France.
  6. 6
    Mang is a German art thief who stole over 60 artworks from museums in Germany and Switzerland.
  7. 7
    Jaubertie is a French art thief who stole paintings from the Museum of Modern Art in Paris in 2010.
  8. 8
    Although a fictional character, Crown is famous for his art heists in the movie "The Thomas Crown Affair."
  9. 9
    Hill is a British art thief who stole a Goya painting from a London gallery in 2008.
  10. 10
    Although not a traditional art thief, Basquiat is famous for his graffiti art, which was often done illegally on buildings and walls.
    Jean-Michel Basquiat in other rankings

Missing your favorite art thief?


Ranking factors for famous art thief

  1. The complexity of the theft
    The more intricate and daring the theft, the more likely the art thief is to become famous.
  2. The media coverage of the theft
    If the theft is covered extensively by the media, it can increase the notoriety of the art thief.
  3. The notoriety of the stolen artwork
    If the stolen artwork is famous or well-known, this can increase the attention given to the theft and the art thief responsible.
  4. The criminal history of the art thief
    If the art thief has a long history of criminal activity, it can add to their infamy and reputation as a notorious art thief.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous art thief. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or art thief is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 228 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each art thief once every 24 hours. The rank of each art thief is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous art thief

Art theft has been a rampant problem throughout history, with some of the most valuable and iconic artworks being stolen and sold on the black market. Among the many notorious art thieves, one name stands out - Vincenzo Peruggia. Peruggia is best known for stealing the Mona Lisa from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911. He was an Italian immigrant who worked as a handyman at the museum and managed to hide inside overnight, waiting for the museum to close. He then removed the painting from its frame and walked out with it hidden under his coat. The theft sparked a worldwide sensation and led to an intense search for the painting, which was eventually recovered two years later in Italy. Peruggia was arrested and served a brief sentence before being released. Despite being caught, Peruggia became a folk hero in Italy, where he was seen as a patriot who had reclaimed a stolen masterpiece from the French. He even received a reduced sentence due to public sympathy. Today, the Mona Lisa remains one of the most famous works of art in the world, and Peruggia's daring heist has become a part of its legend.

Share this article