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Stealing the Mona Lisa - 100 years after the theft a documentary film uncovers new insights into the theft of the masterpiece

"On 21 August 1911, someone entered the Salon Carre of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, removed the Mona Lisa from the wall, unfastened the clamps holding the panel to its frame, and walked off. A painstaking police investigation followed, as newspapers fumed over such a brazen theft. Police failed to capture the thief until he tried to sell the painting in Florence more than two years later." 100 years after the theft a documentary film uncovers new insights into the theft of the masterpiece.

Published on 22 Aug. 2011

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“On 21 August 1911, someone entered the Salon Carre of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, removed the Mona Lisa from the wall, unfastened the clamps holding the panel to its frame, and walked off. A painstaking police investigation followed, as newspapers fumed over such a brazen theft. Police failed to capture the thief until he tried to sell the painting in Florence more than two years later.

Stealing the Mona Lisa is the stuff of lore and legend. The daring theft of the world’s most famous painting was assumed to be the work of a savvy operator. Yet the truth was far different. Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece was lifted by an immigrant housepainter, who didn’t know what to do with the painting once it was in his hands. The unglamorous facts of the case didn’t keep the crime from turning into a myth.”

German thieves were suspected, others thought the Mona Lisa was sold to New York, Pablo Picasso was questioned, and Appolinaire was locked up on suspicion.

A hundred years later film maker Joe Medeiros turned the myth into a documentary. “The Missing Piece” has been released on August 21, 2011. Thanks to documents from the Paris archives Medeiro has reconstructed the theft as well as the public speculations and the police investigations afterwards.


Read the whole article in The Art Newspaper


>>> Stealing the Mona Lisa - 100 years after the theft a documentary film uncovers new insights into the theft of the masterpiece

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