Sunday, December 11, 2011

This Day in History December 12, 1913

Recognize this painting?  Yes, it is the Mona Lisa, the work of Leonardo da Vinci.  I is probably the most famous painting of all time.  It was painted circa 1507, but it was not until the 1860's that art critics finally began to call it one of the finest examples of Renaissance paintings.  Needless to say, this painting's worth is absolutely priceless.

On August 21, 1911, this painting was absconded from the Louvre in France.  At first, the alarm was not sounded because it was assumed that the painting had been taken down for cleaning.  But when the museum officials discovered that no cleaning had been scheduled and there was no sign of the painting, the inevitable had to be announced.  Someone had stolen the Mona Lisa painting!

On this date in 1913 (at least, from what I can tell), this painting was recovered.  The thief?  A short, crazy, Italian handyman named Vincenzo Peruggia stole it for patriotic reasons.  His reasoned that an Italian painting should not hang in a French museum.  Interestingly enough, he tried to sell the painting to his country for $100,000.  That really sounds patriotic, doesn't it?

Peruggia pleaded guilty and served only eight (maybe 14?) months in jail.  The painting still hangs in the Louvre behind bullet-proof glass.  It is still considered one of the most famous paintings as millions still visit each year.

For more information, check out:


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Your Ad Here