29. Juni 2021

Come together Lesson 30

A visit to the Mona Lisa (II)
Tourist: No wonder she is so famous!
Guide: Yes, but that is not all! Do you notice how she looks young and old at the same time?
And look at her mysterious eyes! They even say that the artist’s initials L.V. appear in her right eye.
Tourist: Wasn’t she stolen once?
Guide: Yes, indeed – and that made her even more famous. The artist Vincenzo Peruggi stole the painting on August 21st 1911.  
  He hid in the Louvre store room over night and just ripped the painting from its frame the next morning.            
The theft became a media sensation. Peruggi was unable to sell the painting so he kept it for two years.
  In 1913 he tried to sell it to an art dealer in Florence, who reported him to the police. Peruggi was arrested and sentenced to eight months in prison.
Tourist: Wow, the Mona Lisa has gone through quite a lot of trouble. And who owns her now?
Guide: Today, the Mona Lisa is owned by the French government and is permanently put on display here at Louvre Museum. 
Tourist: If she was actually painted in Italy, how did she end up in France?
Guide: It took too long to paint the Mona Lisa. She was still not complete in 1507, so the painting was never delivered to the Del Giocondo family.
It was however, Leonardo’s favourite painting, so he took it with him everywhere.
After his death in 1519 the painting was inherited by Leonardo’s assistant, who then sold it to the French king.
Tourist: And how many people come to see the Mona Lisa every year?
Guide: Around 6 million people, from all around the world. But not everyone is a fan.
In 1956, one person threw acid at the painting and another person damaged it with a rock. The damage is still noticeable.
Since the bulletproof glass has been installed it has repelled attacks with spray paint in 1974 and a coffee cup in 2009.

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