August is Paris's quietest month. But in one man's head is not that quiet. This man was the Italian carpenter Vincenzo.
He was currently living in Paris. Around two years ago, the man was an employee at the Louvre and made the glass coverings of all pieces of art there. Vincenzo knew the whole plan of the Louvre-stairs, corridors, back doors, exists, entries and so on.
So, it is not a surprise that in one ordinary August day of 1911, the Italian guy covered'' La Joconde'' under his coat and undisturbed walked out of the museum.
The guards of the Louvre were two old men who knew well Vincenzo and nobody suspect the man for making the greatest art crime of the century.
-Oh, my friend, how are you? How's life so far?-said one of the guards to Vincenzo
-Oh, Oscar, you're still here guarding the Louvre?-almost ironically said the man from Italy-I'm fine , now I'm painter and will work here again. This place needs refreshing! I'm bringing two buckets of paint in my arms for check and analysis.
-I see-replied the guard-I'm glad you'll be working at the museum, Vincenzo! Have a great day!
-You ,too, Oscar!-answered in return the thief and went out. But the guard went to take a short nap.
. . .
In the next month, the press went wild and mad over the stolen famous painting. The people of whole France were dumbfounded how this can be possible and were shocked of the stealing. It was number one news in Europe as well.
The police of France suspected at first the poet G. Apoliner and even Pablo Picasso for the outrageous crime but later both were released due to a lack of evidence.
During the almost two year investigation, the Da Vinci's masterpiece was lying in the Italian thief's one-room apartment.
. . .
Vincenzo was jobless. It was cold in the room and he heated the small space with coals. They created great damp around and it was very dangerous for the painting there. Vincenzo wondered what to do next. And one day decided to write a letter to a famous antique dealer from Florence, named Vetter.
When the dealer received the letter,it was signed as''Leonardo'' at the end. The last sentence before that stated:'' The stolen work of Mona Lisa is in my possession.''
Vincenzo also wrote that he will be traveling to Florence because'' the Italian art belongs to its country'' and both to meet.
Mr. Vetter prepared himself. He was warned by the French police if someday someone contacted him about the missing Mona Lisa, to tell them immediately. Vetter did all the necessary. Part of the Italian police was also involved. The tension was enormous that year of 1913. Whole Europe was watching wether Mona Lisa will take its place where it belongs-in the French museum .
. . .
Vincenzo Perugga was caught and sentenced only one year in prison. In the court, the Italian thief said he did the crime of ''patriotic motive'' and nothing more. He swore that he wanted to do no harm of the painting.
After two years of missing, the famous painting'' Mona Lisa'' was hanged again in the Louvre under the same glass covering Vincenzo made . It still remains there. Undisturbed.