Today, the Mona Lisa is arguably the most famous and recognizable painting in the world. However, this was not always the case.
The Mona Lisa achieved international fame after it was stolen from the Louvre on this day in 1911. Shockingly enough, no one realized it was gone until the next day. The person who discovered it was missing thought that it was simply out being photographed, but eventually realized it was, in fact, stolen. Quelle horreur!
No one was safe from suspicion. Those accused included Pablo Picasso and JP Morgan. About 60 detectives set out to find the culprit(s). However, this scandalous theft eventually became a cold case. The perpetrator was not found for two whole years after the crime. It turned out that the culprit was Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian carpenter who actually helped construct the glass case protecting the painting. Peruggia was an Italian patriot who claimed he wanted the Mona Lisa in its home country of Italy.
Did you know the Mona Lisa was stolen? Would it be as famous if it weren’t? Do you believe there is more to the story than just an Italian patriot wanting to return the Mona Lisa to Italy?