The day the Mona Lisa was stolen – level 3


Vincenzo Peruggia was an Italian museum worker who worked in the Louvre in Paris, France. The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci was also a part of the exhibition.

On August 21, 1911, the museum was closed for the public. Only museum workers were there.

Peruggia waited until the room where the Mona Lisa hung was empty. Then he lifted the painting off the wall. He wrapped his coat around the painting, took it under his arm, and left the museum. Nobody stopped him on the way.

Peruggia kept the painting hidden in his apartment in Paris for two years. Then he returned to Italy with it. He kept it in his apartment in Florence for some time. Then he contacted an owner of an art gallery. Peruggia wanted to sell the Mona Lisa to him. However, the art gallery owner informed the police, and Peruggia was arrested.

In the following days, the Mona Lisa was exhibited all over Italy. People were happy to see it. Then it was returned to the Louvre. After the theft, the painting was even more famous than before.

Difficult words: the Louvre (a big museum in Paris), the public (normal people), wrap (to put something around something), theft (the crime of stealing).

What might have motivated Vincenzo Peruggia to steal the Mona Lisa from the Louvre?


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