Today marks the 102nd anniversary of one of the most famous art thefts of all time. The Mona Lisa, the portrait by Leonardo Da Vinci known throughout the world over for her enigmatic expression, disappeared off the walls of The Louvre in France. For almost two years, it was a complete mystery, with high-profile suspects such as painter Pablo Picasso and poet Guillaume Apollinaire being questioned by the authorities. The whole situation remained a mystery until the painting turned up in Italy, with a mustachioed man trying to sell the painting to an antiques dealer. The mustachioed man was Vincento Peruggia, a man who would claim he had stolen the painting in order to return it to its 'home', Italy.
But how did he pull such a feat off? Had he a crack team of criminals, each with their own specialty and peculiar quirk, like an old-timey Ocean's 11? It was nothing hardly so Hollywood or glamorous. Peruggia was a former Louvre employee; he had simply hidden overnight in a closet in his old work uniform, knowing that the museum was closed the next day. He then took the painting off the wall and into a stairway, where he cut the canvas from the frame, hid it under his coat, and walked out. He didn't even have to dodge any security lasers or dangle off the edge of a cliff.
So if your interest has been piqued, why not check out our books on art theft? Or perhaps you'd like to learn more about the Mona Lisa or maybe even Leonardo da Vinci? Or perhaps you'd really just like to read another account of the theft of the Mona Lisa? All that and more are available from your local library location.