by Catherine Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief
Did Vincenzo Peruggia just walk into the Louvre on a Monday morning and steal the Mona Lisa or did he hide overnight in the Paris museum? Was Peruggia an employee of the Louvre at the time of the theft? Did he pick Leonardo da Vinci's painting because it was small and portable (the easiest to take of the Italian works on display in the Salon Carré? I asked these questions to Joe Medeiros, writer and director of "The Missing Piece: Mona Lisa, Her Thief, The True Story".
Actually, Peruggia wasn't working at the Louvre when he stole the painting. He had finished putting the artwork behind glass in January. But Gobier, the company he worked for, continued to work there repairing the glass roof of the museum. Peruggia had left Gobier in July during a strike and had gone to work with another company. I do think he stole it for the size, but also -- possibly --because it was a Leonardo. According to his testimony -- and the police didn't dispute it -- he entered that morning and didn't hide overnight. No reason to. Security was very lax.
Here is a link to the documentary's blog where Mr. Medeiros posts all the screenings.
If you're in San Diego tonight, you might be able to catch the show!