The history of the abduction of the Mona Lisa
• The history of the abduction of the Mona Lisa
August 22, 1911 the artist Louis Beru walked into the most famous museum in Paris and went to Salon Cara, where hung a painting by Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa." Reaching the right place, I take the meso staring at a blank wall, where four iron brackets stuck. He rubbed his eyes, but nothing has changed. "What? Not here? Perhaps it suffered to photograph for publicity purposes. And now we have lunch. " Only a few hours later, Louis reached the Louvre director, and started proceedings. It turned out - the picture is not at photographers.
was a terrible bustle. Louvre immediately closed to visitors (and did not open the whole week). Ministers looked everywhere - under couches, under the stairs, washrooms: no one could not believe that "Mona Lisa", you can easily take this way and to make the building, where hundreds of people are working. However, the pattern was not found. Paris police officially announced - a masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci, written by him between 1503 and 1506 years, disappeared without a trace.. The most terrible thing - it was not even any idea what might have happened to her. The kidnapper did not leave a single evidence.
It started a real panic. The government has dismissed the entire administration of the Louvre and close the border to prevent the export of "Mona Lisa" (as it turned out, it did not help). He was arrested by French poet Guillaume Appolinaire, in an interview for allowing the statement - "I am pleased to be burned the Louvre." Was summoned to the site of Pablo Picasso (then not so well-known) as a friend Appolinaire - Could not Picasso, as a painter, to steal the painting for exciting personal inspiration? Newspapers excelled in versions, the theme of "Mona Lisa" is not descended from the pages. The security services were accused of stealing a longtime enemy - Imperial Germany, of course, the gendarmes of Russian and international crime syndicate.
For 2 years the face of "Mona Lisa" a thousand decorated the front pages. Even a terrible disaster on the scale of "Titanic" in 1912 with huge loss of human life is not pushed out of the press entitled "theft of the century". The audience snapping up postcards with a picture of a smiling mysteriously medieval girl dancer in "Moulin Rouge" were wearing masks on the faces of the Mona Lisa. It is difficult to believe that to steal popular right now the picture was known only to a narrow circle of connoisseurs of art: experts do not consider it a successful work of Leonardo da Vinci. Now about the Mona Lisa became world. However, the search has been in vain. The picture was gone.
A masterpiece stolen from the Louvre, a former employee of the museum - 30-year-old Italian, named Vincenzo Perugia. Initially, the police believed that the thief hid in a closet in advance, waited there overnight and in the morning without witnesses took the picture. But it was much more prosaic. Vincenzo Louvre knew inside out, so at 7 am on August 21, 1911, he calmly walked through the door, intended for employees - dressed in the white uniform of a museum. On Mondays, the Louvre is closed to visitors, the halls are empty - and this facilitated the task of Vincenzo. He took off without problems, "Mona Lisa" from the wall and wrapped it in a cloth and left the building. On the street it is well considered merchant's shop, which wondered why a man running from the museum, holding a suspicious package. However, the testimony of the shopkeeper did not help the police - as well as fingerprinting thief fingers.
The most important thing - as part of searches of former and current employees of the police and the Louvre were on a removable apartment Perugia. He was very confident and explained - he worked all day in a completely different place, far from the museum. Peace officers took his word and left, and Vincenzo, along with a stolen painting, laughing, he moved to Italy. Further thief behavior resembles classical style maniac kidnapper. For two years he kept a picture in a box under the bed and took out from there for intimate conversations, pre zaperevshis key. Communication was getting closer, and eventually in Perugia "gone crazy" - it seemed to him that the Mona Lisa manages, subordinates and gives orders.
The thief fell into complete disorder. He wanted to get rid of the "Mona Lisa" to get rich and to sail to South America. However, familiar collectors of art he did not have, and therefore by Vincenzo took a completely unexpected decision. He came to Alfredo Geri, owner of an art gallery in Florence and offered to buy the painting. Jerry contacted the director of the Uffizi museum of Giovanni Poggi, who shocked confirmed - in front of them an authentic masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci. Both took the "Mona Lisa" and called the police to detain the thief in a hotel room. "Mona Lisa" solemnly drove was returned to France, where she took her place at the Louvre under the clock security of exhibitions throughout Italy, accompanied by delight and admiration of the public, and January 4, 1914. The big picture is not stealing.
The Italian received a "theft of the century" just six months in prison and after release willingly giving interviews. He said that was aimed at the creation of Leonardo's return to their homeland - as the "Mona Lisa", together with other Italian works of art was stolen by Napoleon. Emperor of France at the beginning of the XIX century really took away from the occupied Italy in a bunch of pictures of the Louvre, but the "Mona Lisa" in them was not: Leonardo da Vinci himself brought his masterpiece as a gift to the French king Francis the First, when he worked in Paris court painter. It already happened 250 years before the birth of Napoleon, so that the emperor here exactly to do with it. Nevertheless, the Italian journalists hotly touted as a patriot of Perugia in Italy.
The second version of the "theft of the century" - the alleged kidnapping ordered Argentine adventurer "Marquis" Eduardo de Valfierno, along with the restorer Yves Shadron advance produce six copies of the "Mona Lisa" and plan and then sell them to rich collectors all over the world - as "the most stolen painting. " However, Vincenzo Perugia denied any acquaintance and communication with Valfierno, but who knows, whatever it was actually ... Sam Vincenzo Perugia died October 8, 1925, at the age of 44 - his birthday. He had hoped earlier that his funeral will gather all of Italy: but the death of "the thief of the century" newspaper hardly reported. It's funny that the "Mona Lisa" would not be so well-known in the world, if not for a lone thief trick. Now such an event would probably have been called "viral advertising".