Mark’s Interested in Stolen Art? Yes, Here’s a Cool Story
Here is a topic that I never thought I'd be writing about. But as I was doing some show prep for next week, I ran across an interesting tidbit.
Monday is the anniversary of the theft of a ceramic plate painted with a bullfighting motif that was painted by Pablo Picasso. And on February 14th, 1949, it was stolen.
So I googled "stolen artwork that was never recovered" and got some interesting things to show up.
First of all, there are still a lot of pieces of artwork that are missing worldwide, including quite a few that were confiscated by the Nazis and never recovered.
But something that I didn't know previously was that somebody actually stole the Mona Lisa, which was painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
A former employee of the Louvre museum, where the painting was on display, hid inside the museum on a Sunday and waited for everyone to leave. He then just walked out the door with his prize.
He kept it in his apartment for two years before he just couldn't stand the excitement anymore and decided that it was time to see it for his big payday.
The problem was with who he contacted to get the transaction started. He called a gentleman who owned an art gallery. Well, that gentleman said that he would need to keep the painting briefly to get its authenticity verified. And instead of doing that, the police were called and Vincenzo Peruggia went directly to jail.
The painting was returned to the Louvre in 1913 and is probably a lot harder to steal these days.
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