When they thought Picasso stole the Mona Lisa

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Manage episode 290510080 series 2530089
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If you picture Pablo Picasso, you might think of the man himself in his red jumpsuit. Maybe you think of his experiments with cubism, the wacky shapes and bright colors. Maybe you think of his Blue Period, where he painted in shades of blue after the death of his friend. Before he was a famous and cocky artist, though, Picasso’s name was in the newspapers for a very different reason. The Spanish painter was in the news because of the Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting was stolen from the Louvre one summer’s evening in 1911. The police suspected that young Picasso, who was 29 and living in Paris at the time, had something to do with the theft. But why? Previously, Picasso had two statues that had been stolen from the museum in Paris. He had connections with a thief. It is easy to see why the police would want to ask questions of a famous artist who possessed stolen art. During the court hearing, Picasso was apparently so upset that he cried while in front of the judge — a very different image from the confident and prideful artist we remember. However, it’s understandable that a young artist might be distressed to be accused of the theft of such an important piece of art. The real culprit, a handyman who had worked in the Louvre, was caught two years later when he tried to sell the painting to a gallery in Italy. It must have come as a relief to the young Picasso to finally have his name cleared. Despite his early brush with the police, Picasso went on to become one of the most famous artists of the 20th century. (Hannah Brown) This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

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