Philosophies, ideas, theories, and deciding to totally dismiss the expected realm of existence and instead choose to delve into something completely unexplored and fairly uninhabited is rather fun, and if you know what you’re doing, an entire trip. That being said, coming back to reality every now and then can too be rewarding. Although the story is rather old and definitely erroneous and the facts may have been lost between the fantastic details, it did happen one way or another. This is the story of the theft of the most famous painting in the world, this is about how we once lost the Mona Lisa.
I will spare you the boring details about the painting itself. Louvre. Da Vinci. Revolutionary. Her eyes. And all that. I think we know enough. The painting was stolen on August 21st, 1911 and was not found until 2 years later. Some claim this incident is what made the painting famous- its something to consider. On the morning of, an Italian named Vincenzo Perugia disguised himself as a worker in the museum (other sources say he was hired for an odd job) and hid until closing time. He took the painting out of its frame and put it under his white uniform, where it would remain for the rest of the night. In the morning of, when the museum reopened and everyone was allowed in, he walked out. No one came to the conclusion that it was stolen until almost a day later.
People stood in line to see where the painting had hung, to view the now empty space it used to occupy.
Two years later, the Italian tried to sell the painting and instead got caught. Some sources claim he was interviewed by the police before, but no one would believe such a petty man could orchestrate a crime of this weight. The art dealer called the police on him after tricking him into leaving the painting behind for inspection. Perugia explained he did this because he was motivated by his duty to his country; he believed the painting originally belonged to Italy. Apparently, many others believed him too.
Some say he fell in love with her, it sat on his kitchen table for almost two years. Others explain it was a stunt pulled by the French government to distract people from uprisings in occupied West Africa. Some say the original was never returned. Other explain copied had been made, sold and buyers all think they have the original. This elaborate scheme is said to have been though of Karl Decker. We do not know who Decker is. Action Francaise, a French newspaper, blamed the Jews- go figure. The incident was used to highlight the ineptness of the government. Others became suddenly interested in art and the museum, because of the press it got. No one believed stealing her would’ve been that simple.
The tale is very romantic and regardless of the misplaced details, true. She was stolen. In the end, after some tests and professional examinations, Perugia was deemed mentally insufficient. His sentence was reduced. And he was loved. In prison, he received wine, cake and love letters. Maybe he was in love with her. Maybe he didn’t give up a painting worth $780 million because he had, in all our eyes not just his, managed to turn a painting into a person.
Some say he would play his ukulele and sing to her.