Apollinaire and the Theft of the Mona Lisa

A R T L▼R K

51I6rMCPXiLOn the 21st of August 1911, the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa, was stolen from the Louvre. The absence of the painting was first noticed by the painter Louis Beroud, who in the morning of the 22nd of August made his way to the Salon Carré where the Mona Lisa had been on display for five years. However, in place of the image of the coy smiling La Gioconda, he found an empty wall. He reported the occurrence to one of the guards who assumed that the painting was taken to be photographed for marketing purposes. Within a few hours, however, it became clear that the artwork had vanished from the Louvre!

The press coverage that followed was enormous, strangely enough contributing to an even bigger popularity of the painting. “The Parisian newspapers bemoaned the loss of a national treasure and filled their pages for several…

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