Stolen: How the Mona Lisa Became the World’s Most Famous Painting

One hundred years ago, a heist by a worker at the Louvre secured Leonardo’s painting as an art world icon

After 28 months, Vincenzo Perugia was arrested for the theft of the Mona Lisa. Shown here is the transfer of the painting from the Italian Ministry of Public Instruction to France. (Bettmann / Corbis)

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A century has passed since Perugia pinched the painting, and yet historians are still reluctant to give him the credit as the unwitting catalyst for making the Mona Lisa the world-famous icon that it is today.


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