Image : thevintagenews

 

On the 21st of August 1911, the French painter Louis Béroud wandered into the Louvre to observe the Mona Lisa, and instead was confronted by four metal pegs. He rushed to security who then alerted the media and thus ensued the great theft of the generation.

Known in Italian as the “La Goicanda”, the Mona Lisa is Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous work of art and one of the most celebrated paintings in the world. Its disappearance from the museum erupted into a great media frenzy making headlines everywhere. The Louvre shut down for a week and investigations incurred. Several artists were brought into the fray, including Pablo Picasso. However, they were cleared of charges later on.

The whereabouts of the painting remained unknown until the guilty culprit was finally found two years later. Vincenzo Peruggia, a former employee at the museum, was caught attempting to sell the painting to the directors of a gallery in Florence. Peruggia was sentenced to six months in prison and the Mona Lisa returned to the Louvre in January 1914.