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IN 1911, MONA LISA WAS STOLEN

Missing for 2 years, the work was found in an unusual place.

With the fall of Napoleon in 1815, the Mona Lisa, the work of Leonardo da Vinci, went to its definitive home: the Louvre. Amidst some of the greatest artistic treasures of all time, she seemed to have finally found the security and tranquility she deserved. And so it was, for nearly 100 years. Until, in the 20th century, a wave of torments took away his peace.

On August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen. Two years later, police arrested Italian painter Vincenzo Peruggia when he tried to sell the painting to the Italian government for $95,000. All this time, the work was locked in a trunk in Vincenzo’s small apartment.

During the trial, he said he was motivated by patriotism: he wanted to return the painting to Italy. He ended up receiving a prison sentence of one year and 15 days and the Mona Lisa was returned to Paris, received with the honors of a head of state.

She became so in evidence and became so harassed that, in 1956, she ended up the victim of at least two attacks. In the first, an unidentified visitor sprayed acid on the canvas — and the damaged underside of the painting needed to be restored.

At 4:15 pm on December 30, Bolivian student Ugo Unzaga Villegas threw a rock at the canvas. The impact peeled off the paint near Mona Lisa’s left elbow. He was arrested and referred by the French authorities for psychiatric treatment. The work has been restored.

Despite the attacks, the Louvre decided to respond to another type of harassment. Museums around the world wanted to exhibit the work, and in 1963, Mona Lisa left Europe for the first time and went to the United States.

Insurance was taken out for the trip, which required that, in an unprecedented way, the painting be evaluated: if something happened to it, the price to be paid would be 100 million dollars. But she returned safe and sound from her stint in America. So much so that, in 1974, he again left France for a tour of Japan.

Today the work is on display at the Louvre — properly protected by the bulletproof glass — and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Source: Aventuras na História

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