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So did Pablo Picasso steal Mona Lisa?

Source: AP

                Today is the 141st birth anniversary of the great Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso. One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Picasso is best known by his last name though his full name is 25 words long. Along with fame, Pablo Picasso also has had his share of negative publicity. On his birth anniversary, we try to understand whether Picasso had really stolen the famous Mona Lisa painting, an allegation levied against this great artist.

         The famous Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci was stolen in 1911 in Paris and Picasso was a suspect of this theft. It is said that Picasso was in the right place at the right time. On August 21, 1911, the painting was stolen off the walls of the Louvre. This incident was known as the ‘most colossal theft of modern times.’ Rumours suggested that Picasso was close friends with one of the suspects of the heist, French poet Guillaume Apollinaire who spoke about him to the police while being interrogated. On this information, police brought young Picasso in for questioning. Picasso had been involved in buying stolen art from the Louvre before. However, two years after the theft, when the real thief was caught, Picasso was fully exonerated. The magistrate deemed Apollinaire and Picasso had had nothing to do with the disappearance of the Mona Lisa, stating rather, that the police had victimised them for their own selfish purposes of demonstrating two leads in the case.


       Vincenzo Peruggia, a former employee of the Louvre who had actually stolen the Mona Lisa was caught trying to sell the priceless painting to an art dealer in Florence, Italy. Peruggia hid in a broom closet until the museum closed. Then he sidled up to the legendary portrait, pulled it off the wall, slipped it under his coat and walked out the door. Peruggia was an Italian patriot who believed Leonardo\’s painting should be returned to Italy for display in an Italian museum.

Some more interesting unknown facts about Pablo Picasso.

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