HISTORIC HEISTS: THE MONA LISA

Mona Lisa

Despite all the pretty much identical copies around, someone once just had to have the real Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting vanished from the walls of the Salon Carré in the Louvre Museum on August 21st, 1911 – and it actually took a while for anyone to notice! A visiting artist, Louis Béroud, did alert guards to the fact that there were only empty pegs sitting between Correggio’s Mystical Marriage and Titian’s Allegory of Alfonso d’Avalos, but the guards told him the missing painting had probably just been taken away to be photographed or something. But when Béroud checked this out with higher authorities, it was discovered that the Mona Lisa was no longer part of the museum’s inventory.

About sixty police investigators descended on the Louvre and the place was closed for a week, but aside from a plate of glass and an empty frame being found on a staircase, no leads were forthcoming. Oh, there was a fingerprint, on the frame, but it didn’t match anything the police had in their files, so that didn’t help much.
Nothing helped much, and the Mona Lisa’s whereabouts remained unknown for two whole years. (It went on drawing the crowds for a while, though, because people were willing to stand in line to look at where it had been.)

Then, in November, 1913, an Italian antiques dealer named Alfredo Geri got a letter from someone who claimed to have the stolen painting. Geri contacted the museum director of the Uffizi Museum in Florence (Commendatore Giovanni Poggi) , who advised him to set up a meeting. The meeting was scheduled for December 22nd, but on December 10th, an Italian man calling himself Leonardo Vincenzo showed up at Geri’s office and told him the Mona Lisa was back in his hotel room and Geri could have it for a half million lire. He said the money was just to cover his expenses as his real motive for stealing the paining had been to restore the great art treasure to Italy, where it belonged. He then agreed to meet Geri and Poggi in his hotel room the next day so Poggi could check the painting’s authenticity.

When Geri and Poggi went to the hotel room, they found the man, whose real name was Vincenzo Peruggia, did indeed have the Mona Lisa hidden under the false bottom of a wooden trunk. Accepting Poggi’s statement that he’d have to compare it to other da Vinci paintings, Peruggia let the museum director take it away, and the police, who had been waiting in the wings, moved in and arrested him.
The Mona Lisa was returned to France on December 30th, but was first displayed throughout Italy – where many Italians thought it should have stayed.

About these ads

3 comments

  1. There’s an ancient 1-season TV show I watch on Amazon Prime called “Voyagers.” It was based on historical events with two time travelers dropping (literally) in on times when history had to be tweaked to make it go right. At the end, they always said “If you want to learn more about….visit your local library.”

    It had the Mona Lisa story in one of the episodes. I wish you could see the single season shows. I’m sure you’d enjoy them. It didn’t go any further because the main character was accidentally killed on the set of another series he was in. Guy’s name was Jon-Erik Hexum. I really felt bad when I saw he’d accidentally died at 26. What a waste. He was funny and very easy on the eyes. Anyway, maybe you can find Voyagers somewhere to watch. It was filmed in the early 1980s.

  2. i also used to watch Voyageurs.

  3. Very few people in this world can compete with Leonardo da Vinci for the title of The Supreme Genius of all ages. He is a true polymath and is regarded as a renaissance man. Read more about him here http://kaboomed.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/awesome-minds-leonardo-da-vinci/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Magna Bloga- A History Blog

Sharing my passion for history

Through The Third Eye

Putting kids and history together

Your Well Wisher Program

Attempt to solve commonly known problems…

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

O' Canada

Reflections on Canadian Culture From Below the Border

Juju Films

Cutting edge Multimedia Programming

Cyan Attributes

Smile! You’re at the best. Change is good. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll see the difference.

BOOK SHELF

"Tell me and I forget-Show me and I remember-Involve me and I learn"

euzicasa

Share something you learned everyday!

Simple Pleasures

Visual Poetry, Photography and Quotes

Project Light to Life

A bucket list blog: exploring happiness, growth, and the world.

Travel

The greatest blog in all the land! find the best articles about: Adventure Travel, Airline Travel, Budget Travel, Hotels and Lodging, Timeshare,

web blog

you can find in this blog articles about : Web Hosting SEO Affiliate Programs Online Business PPC Advertising

Jumbled Writer - Charlie Dims

Putting kids and history together

Putting kids and history together

Eric Price

Welcome to the online home of author Eric Price.

John B. Rosenman, Author

Putting kids and history together

Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger

where writing is a performance art and every post is a show

The top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!

The top 10 of just about anything everything, from cakes to cats and dogs to caravans. Always a laugh, always worth seeing.

THE LOS PERSPECTIVE

The Journey and Adventures of a Hindu Pagan

Disney for Five+

helping big families enjoy Walt Disney World!

Just another WordPress.com site

Andrew Hines

be inspired

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience

The Longevity Letter

Life extension advice, nutrition and fitness, suspended animation and practical gerontology news

TESOL at Rennert NYC

We are a TESOL teacher training facility which offers certificate courses in New York City at Rennert English School. Follow us for helpful tips!

Montessori and the World

An Adventure into Montessori Studies in Italy

The Normanators

Domestic Goddess. New Blogger. Homeschooling Mama.

Another Hatchett Job....

Homeschooling, Sewing, and Quilting at the Cabin

Bucca Books

Reading and Experiencing Children's Literature

Fashioning Sociology

Dr. Van Cleaf's Introduction to Sociology, F.I.T

Duir School's Blog

Port Hope's Newest Child Care Option

Rushing to Read

random reviews from library day

AnswerIt

Funny pictures & cartoons to make you smile.

Tails from Paris

Comics Blog with real bites of love and delightful rascals inside ...

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.

Katie L. Carroll Observation Desk

Author of Books for Teens and Kids

Natter and Review

This WordPress.com site is about books, both the reading and the writing.

Time Travelling With Kids

Putting kids and history together

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 358 other followers

%d bloggers like this: