TIME TRAVEL I (The Great Art Theft Of The Mona Lisa)


Happy New NaBloPoMo month, I would be writing everyday this month so don’t forget to check back everyday. You can also follow me on twitter @thetowncrier96.

Every Saturday, I will do a feature post on “time travel”, watch out for that too.

Yeah, so we begin.


If I could go back in time, it will probably be to 1911 Italy, when one of the greatest art theft in history was perpetrated.

Eduardo de Velfierno, an Argentine con man, allegedly asked Vincenzo Peruggia, a louvre worker if he could steal the Mona Lisa since he worked in the Museum and knew the in and outs of the security detail. Vincenzo was willing to do it. He hid inside the museum on Sunday, August 22, knowing that the museum would be closed the following day. On monday, he wore one of the white Artists’ smocks that employees wore and was indistinguishable from other workers. When the Salon Carre, where the Mona Lisa was hung was empty, he lifted the Mona Lisa from the wall and took it to an enclosed stairwell. He then removed the protective case and frame then concealed the painting under his smock. He left the Louvre with it, passing a guard station which had been left unattended by a guard who had gone to obtain a pail of water. Vincenzo hid the painting in his apartment in Paris and was paid by Eduardo. Surprisingly, Eduardo asked Vincenzo to keep the painting for a little while and never came back for the painting.

After keeping the painting hidden in a trunk in his apartment for two years, Vincenzo returned to Italy with it. He later grew impatient and was finally caught when he contacted Alfredo Geri, the owner of an art gallery in Florence, Italy. Vincenzo apparently expected a reward for returning the painting to what he regarded as its ‘homeland’.

Now here is what makes this story great, before the heist took place, Eduardo allegedly commissioned French art Restorer and forger Yves Chaudron to make six copies of the Mona Lisa. The forgeries where to be shipped around the world for buyers he had lined up. Eduardo knew once the Mona Lisa was stolen it would be harder to smuggle copies past customs, so he shipped them before the heist with only delivering left to do. After the heist, the copies were delivered to their buyers, each thinking they had the original which had been stolen for them. Since Eduardo wanted to sell forgeries, he only needed the original Mona Lisa to disappear (Nice huh!). Karl Decker published this story in a 1932 Saturday Evening Post much later after Eduardo’s death.

There is much doubt about the story’s accuracy but I think Eduardo de Valfierno’s plan was in one word “GENIUS”. Later Peeps…


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