Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mona Lisa Trivia

Although the Mona Lisa is quite secure now, in 1911, a painter walked into the Louvre to check out the famous painting and discovered an empty space on the wall where it should have been. Security wasn’t alarmed because they thought that the painting was somewhere being photographed for museum marketing. It wasn’t. The museum was closed for a week while the theft was investigated. Two years later, it was discovered that a Louvre employee had hidden in a broom closet until the museum closed, then walked out with it hidden under his coat. (If you’ve never seen it, the Mona Lisa is a lot smaller than you think it’s going to be.) The employee believed that the painting should be in an Italian museum, not a French museum. The Mona Lisa returned to her home at the Louvre in 1913.1956 was particularly hard on Mona—first, a vandal doused the lower half of the painting with acid. A few months later, a man threw a rock at her, which took off some of the paint near the left elbow. The Mona Lisa is now covered with bulletproof glass.

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