Thursday, October 31, 2013

Who Was the Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa?

“Unimaginable!” roared Parisian newspaper headlines on August 23, 2011, the day after the Louvre discovered that someone had stolen Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Who, everyone asked, took La Joconde, as the French called her? Two years passed before the world learned the thief’s name—Vincenzo Peruggia, an obscure, Italian housepainter. Although Peruggia’s name’s been synonymous with art theft for a century, who Vincenzo was has always remained a mystery. What made him take the painting in the first place? Filmmaker Joe Medeiros tries to solve that puzzle in his charming and eye-opening documentary, The Missing Piece: Mona Lisa, Her Thief, the True Story. Shuttling back and forth between Italy and France, just like Peruggia himself, Medeiros and his crew visit not just the scene of the crime, but also the scenes of Vincenzo’s life before and after the theft in search of the man behind the mask of the thief. The result speaks as much about the power of art as about the way history and its players never truly die. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Who Was the Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa?"
[Many thanks to Joe and Justine Medeiros for providing me with the image above from, press materials related to, and viewing access to The Missing Piece: Mona Lisa, Her Thief, the True Story, now playing in select theaters across America.]


Hels said...

Thank you for the extra details that I didn't know about Peruggia and the theft. The only thing I would add is to agree, and then _stress_ that the thief was enacting patriotic revenge against the French and their Louvre. Napoleon's armies had been utterly outrageous in their cultural thefts, especially in Italy.

Art and Architecture, mainly

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