The Fascinating Story of the Theft and Recovery of the Mona Lisa

TLDR The Mona Lisa, a priceless masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci, was stolen in 1911, leading to a worldwide search and conspiracy theories. It was eventually recovered and became the most famous painting in the world, now attracting millions of visitors to the Louvre.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The Mona Lisa became famous due to an event that happened in 1911, which is explained in this episode.
02:05 The Mona Lisa is an unquestionably authentic oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci, estimated to have been painted between 1503 and 1506, and it was in the possession of the French crown until the French Revolution.
03:14 The Mona Lisa disappeared in 1911 and was initially believed to have been taken for photography, but it was later discovered that it had been stolen and two men, Guillaume Apollinaire and Pablo Picasso, were initially suspected but later cleared of the crime.
04:15 After the theft, borders were put on alert, ships were searched, and newspapers around the world reported on the loss of the Mona Lisa, with conspiracy theories and rewards flooding in.
05:16 An art dealer in Florence received a letter from a man claiming to have the Mona Lisa, leading to the arrest of Vincenzo Perugia, a low-level employee at the Louvre who had stolen the painting.
06:19 Vincenzo Perugia stole the Mona Lisa from the Louvre by hiding in a storage closet overnight, and after his arrest, the painting became the most famous in the world, eventually being returned to France after being exhibited in major cities in Italy.
07:28 The Mona Lisa is estimated to be worth over $2.5 billion and attracts a majority of visitors to the Louvre.
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