Film About Theft Of Mona Lisa To Hit Cinemas In 2014
Veteran Hollywood producer Larry A. Thompson announced that he is making a film about the most famous art heist of all time: the theft of the ‘Mona Lisa’ in 1911.
Called ‘Missing Mona Lisa’ the movie is in pre-production and is based on a screenplay by Mark J. Hudelson. The writer’s original story and feature script is based on the true story of Italian Vincenzo Peruggia, who became fascinated by Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece while he working at the Louvre in Paris. Believing in his heart that the ‘Mona Lisa’ was homesick for Italy, Peruggia stole the painting and smuggled it home with him to Florence.
Thompson will shoot the film this year in France and Italy. It is due for release in the USA on 4 January 2014 to coincide with France’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the return of the ‘Mona Lisa’ to the Louvre – the painting was re-hung on 4 January 1914. Thompson says: “The ‘Mona Lisa’ left the Louvre as an Italian masterpiece. She returned as an icon.”
The producer told ‘Deadline.com’: “[Peruggia] was a simpleton who fell in love with ‘Mona Lisa’... He would wrap her in a red shawl and in the early evening holds her up to the window to see Florence.”
Peruggia stole the painting on 21 August 1911. During the artwork’s absence, hundreds of thousands of people walked by the empty spot where it had been displayed staring in disbelief. Many art lovers left flowers and gifts, and shed tears for the painting’s return.
Peruggia and the ‘Mona Lisa’ were discovered in Florence in December 1913. The Italian government arrested Peruggia and returned the masterpiece to the Louvre after it did a short tour of Italy. Peruggia claimed he stole the painting and took it to Florence because the ‘Mona Lisa’ was lonely and homesick for Italy. He also claimed that it was his patriotic duty because Napoleon Bonaparte removed the painting from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to take to the Louvre. Peruggia was convicted for theft but he served less than a year in jail. He became a national hero in Italy.
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