How an Italian Handyman Created the Mona Lisa—by Stealing Her

Vincenzo Peruggia stole the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911, an act that would spark the artwork's global fame.

The following article, written by Sheena McKenzie, appears on

Mona Lisa: The theft that created a legend

Why is the Mona Lisa the most famous painting in the world?

Her enigmatic smile? The mystery surrounding her identity? The fact she was painted by Renaissance pin-up boy Leonardo da Vinci?

Sure, all of these things helped boost the popularity of the 16th century masterpiece.

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