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The Missing Piece: Mona Lisa, Her Thief, the True Story 2012
Description: A boy steals the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911. His 84-year-old daughter thought he did it for patriotic reasons. A filmmaker spends more than 30 years trying to search the truth.
Released: 20 Oct 2012 Director: Joe Medeiros Writers: Joe Medeiros Actors: Celestina Peruggia, Joe Medeiros, Benito Mussolini, Robert K. Wittman Genres: Documentary, Crime, History
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See TRAILER: The Missing Piece - on youtube.

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See Mona Lisa Is Missing - The Man on youtube.

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See The Missing Piece: Vincenzo Pe on youtube.

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See What The Mona Lisa Theft Could on youtube.

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See Mona Lisa's history on youtube.

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See The Missing Piece- Mona Lisa ( on youtube.

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See STEALING MONA LISA - Author&#3 on youtube.

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See The Missing Full'M.o.v.i.e'200 on youtube.

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See THE MONA LISA'S GONE! (The on youtube.

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See The Ballad of Mona Lisa (Cover on youtube.

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The Missing Piece: Mona Lisa, Her Thief, the True Story Reviews:

This well researched and remarkable documentary chronicles the theft of probably the world's most popular painting Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa", aka "La Gioconda", from the Louvre in 1911. The film also traces what happened to the masterpiece after the heist, by the Italian immigrant mason worker Vincenzo Peruggia.It really is an nice story, extremely well presented by the filmmaker Joe Medeiros, who visits relatives of Peruggia in Italy, digs deep into archival documents, and interviews anyone who can shed light on exactly what happened.I had no clue that this theft ever occurred, so I was quite surprised and very much interested in how it all played out. For me, the documentary proved to be both engaging and engrossing.


What an enjoyable film! I came across this while looking for something interesting to watch last night. The mix of interviews, travel, graphic layout and storyline saying made this a movie I would suggest to all of my art students and beyond. I think the interviews with family members, the peek into museums and archives (to see current letters and documents) and interfacing today's France and Italy with 'yesterday's' France and Italy were the high points of the film. One needs to know historically what was event when Mona Lisa was taken. This movie reveals the climate of the era and the step-by-step background of why the Mona Lisa was stolen to the understanding of why she was returned. The music, and image montage style of the video made this video super enjoyable. The tenacity of the author (30 years in the making) is amazing. I am going to test to write him to thank him for his effort and success.


Did you hear? Somebody stole the Mona Lisa! Well, okay _ it happened in 1911. But still.Filmmaker Joe Medeiros spent 30 years researching and making this documentary, and it's hard to know which is more fascinating, the original theft _ which has been named the best art heist of the century _ or Medeiros's dogged pursuit into why it happened.At 7 a.m. on Monday, August 21, 1911, Vincenzo Peruggia (1881-1925), a small, nondescript Italian who worked at the Louvre, where the storied Leonardo da Vinci painting was hanging in the Salon Carre', donned the customary white worker's garb worn by the museum's employees, sneaked in when the zone was closed for its weekly cleaning, and lifted the tiny (yup, it's very little) painting off four hooks, removed it from its protective situation (Leonardo painted it on wood), wrapped it in his smock, hid near a service staircase, and left through the same door that he entered.It's necessary to remember this all happened in a day when not a entire lot of people, apparently, knew exactly what the Mona Lisa looked like. The Washington Post, for example, in reporting the theft ran the wrong picture, this of a nude woman.Peruggia hid the painting in a trunk in his Paris apartment for two years. The police came by to question him not realizing it was right under their nose.Next, he returned to Italy, where he also kept it in his apartment in Florence.Here, stories start to conflict, but what is real is that he contacted Alfredo Geri, an art gallery owner, expecting to be honored _ and financially rewarded _ for what he regarded as returning the painting to it's "homeland."Geri then named Giovanni Poggi, director of the Uffizi Gallery, who vouched for the painting's authenticity.Then Poggi and Geri, who took possession of the painting, allegedly for safekeeping, named the gendarmes, who arrested Peruggia at his hotel.The painting was exhibited throughout Italy, which rejoiced, then was returned to the Louvre in 1913.Peruggia spent a short time in jail, then got out just time to serve in the Italian units during Globe Fight I. The luck.He soon married and had a daughter, Celestina, eventually returning to France, where he continued to work as a painter under his birth name Pietro Peruggia, supposedly so no one would recognize who he was.He died in his young daughter's arms on October 8, 1925, at age 44, in the city of Saint- Maur-des-Fossés, France. His widow married his brother, which, according to sources in the documentary, was not an uncommon practice back then.Filmmaker Medeiros became obsessed with why Peruggia did what he did, and equally obsessed with turning the entire storyline into a film drama.Medeiros _ who tracks down Peruggia's daughter, 84 years old at the time of the interview, and different descendants _ boils it down to two theories. Either Peruggia did it for patriotic reasons, thinking it belonged in Italy, and to strike back at French workers at the Louvre who derisively nicknamed him 'Macaroni' in reference to his heritage _ or he did it to receive rich.It's necessary to note that although Peruggia stated he wanted to bring the painting back for display in Italy "after it was stolen by Napoleon," the fact is da Vinci took this painting as a gift for Francis I when he moved to France to become a painter in his court during the 16th century _ 250 years before Napoleon's birth.The evidence is cute powerful that Peruggia expected to profit from the venture _ testimony came out at his trial helping that theory _ but the fact that this was an Italian man, and proud of it, cannot be denied either.The court apparently took this into consideration in giving him a light sentence of one year and fifteen days, only seven months of which he served. Indeed he was hailed as a patriot of sorts in Italy.An intriguing theory also arose later, that the theft may have been ordered by a con boy called Eduardo de Valfierno who, the storyline goes, commissioned art forger Yves Chaudron to create copies of the painting, whose value would have risen because the original had been stolen. But the theory was based entirely on a 1932 Saturday Evening Post article by Karl Decker, a journalist for Hearst _ and it's emphasized, quite fairly, that Hearst's style of journalism was shoddy at best. Scratch one theory.It cannot be stressed strongly enough that Medeiros is relentless and thorough in studying this case, and he does it in a method that is riveting and fully entertaining, appealing to general audiences as well as art aficionados.This storyline has been alluded to in movie before (Willi Forst in 1931, and in a tv miniseries named "The Boy Who Stole La Gioconda" with Alessandro Preziosi in 2006, for example), but here's hoping the tale gets the large screen treatment it (and Medeiros) deserve. And by the way, Johnny Depp would be excellent as Peruggia.



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