Europe

Mona Lisa: Greatest art theft in history?

Published 1807 GMT (0207 HKT) November 18, 2013
Share
mona lisa returnmona lisa return
1 of 4
Officials crowd around the Mona Lisa upon her return to the Louvre in January 1914. Why such a fuss? She'd been missing for over two years. Paul Thompson/Getty Images/File
Until she was stolen in 1911, the Mona Lisa was not necessarily the most famous painting in the world. When Italian handyman Vincenzo Peruggia stole Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, it made international headlines and was catapulted to stardom. Jean-Pierre Muller/Getty Images/File
Today, the 16th century artwork is the most recognizable painting on the planet, helping to attract over 9.7 million visitors to the Louvre last year. The mysterious muse has been immortalized in everything from Andy Warhol's pop art to Dan Brown's bestselling novel, "The Da Vinci Code." Stephane de sakutin/Getty Images/Files
"It's what people describe as invisible masterpieces -- people know of them but they may have never seen them. They're more interested in saying that they've seen them, rather than actually looking at them," said art history professor Noah Charney. Loic Venance/Getty Images/File