The Gardner Museum Heist: Background information when reading The Last Mona Lisa

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The Last Mona Lisa

by Jonathan Santlofer

The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer X
The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2021, 400 pages

    Paperback:
    Aug 2021, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jordan Lynch
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About this Book

The Gardner Museum Heist

This article relates to The Last Mona Lisa

An empty frame at the Gardner Museum The Last Mona Lisa is a fictionalized account of the real 1911 theft of the famous da Vinci painting of the title. Despite extensive investigation, it took more than two years for the painting to be recovered and returned to the Louvre. Other art heists don't have such happy outcomes: Sometimes stolen paintings are damaged or destroyed, and in some cases, the art simply vanishes, hidden away in a private collection and never seen in public again. Luke, the main character in the novel, gets a glimpse into one such private collection, seeing a painting that went missing in the heist at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—a crime that has never been solved. Although this private collection is fictional, the theft at the Gardner Museum actually happened, and the artwork has never been recovered.

On March 18th, 1990, two men dressed as police officers arrived at the Gardner Museum, claiming to be responding to a disturbance. A young guard broke security protocol and ...

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