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1930s & Earlier / Mona Lisa Stolen 1911
This is what remained of the Mona Lisa in The Louvre after it was stolen on August 21, 1911--four metal hooks on a wall. The famous painting was missing until December 1913 when an Italian, Vincenzo Peruggia, tried to sell it to a museum in his own country. Peruggia was portrayed as a patriotic Italian who wanted to return the Mona Lisa to his homeland. However, the real story of the painting's theft did not come out for years. Peruggia actually stole the Mona Lisa for an Argentine art forger who had already made six passable copies of it. When the theft became public news, the forger had no use for the real painting. Instead he sold the six copies to six different gullible art fans for extraordinary sums, each buyer believing he had bought the true Da Vinci masterpiece. During the 27 months the painting was missing, Peruggia had kept it in a trunk under his bed in his apartment not far from The Louvre. He was waiting for instructions from the art forger that never came. Eventually Peruggia tried to sell the original painting himself and was promptly arrested.