In December 1913, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was recovered in Florence, two years after the world’s most famous work of art was stolen from the Louvre Museum.
The portrait was made between 1503-1506 and represents a woman with a thoughtful expression and a discreet smile.
The Italian painter was extremely attached to his work of art and always carried Gioconda on his journeys, including that one time when Kind Francis I invited him to the Amboise Castle in 1516.
The king fell in love with the painting and bought it
After he finalized the purchase, the monarch decided to exhibit the painting at the Fontainebleau Palace and later at the Versailles.
Shortly after the end of the French Revolution, the legendary Napoleon Bonaparte took the painting and hanged it in his own bedroom, then returning it to the Louvre Museum.
During the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Bonaparte hid the piece of art in a secret place.
On August 22, 1911, the painting disappeared from Louvre and French poet Guillaume Apollinaire becomes the main suspect in the theft.
Pablo Picasso is also questioned by the authorities a few weeks later but they both released due to the lack of evidence.
It has been discovered that an employee of the Italian-based Louvre Museum, Vincenzo Perugia, convinced the painting belongs to Italy, stole the object and he was captured when he tried to sell it to an artwork shopkeeper in Florence.
After being exposed in the main cities of Italy, he returned to the Louvre in 1913
In 1956, the lower part of the painting suffered serious damage following an attack with an acidic solution, and a few months later a visitor threw a stone into it. It is currently protected by an unbreakable layer of glass.