Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Mona Lisas, Mona Liza, Mona Liza

Dear mouse,

Valferno kept everything on a tight schedule. He was going to meet Perugia, an Italian who had worked as a glazier in the protective glass of the "Mona Liza."

At the appointed time, Perugia swaggered into the office followed by two men dressed in uniform of workmen of the museum.

Valferno continued to observe the three men as they grabbed their seats in front of the big desk. Each looked like your average Joe but in truth, they were the most notorious robbing crews recommended to him. TO STEAL THE MONA LISA.

On August 21, 1911, after hiding inside the storeroom,the gang casually walked out the museum with the 18 pound portrait.

This is not a page torn from a paperback. I just like to present a novel-like story about the forgeries of the masterpiece of Leonardo Da Vinci.

The master forger, Yves Chaudron was a former picture restorer specialized on copying paintings of famous artists which his accomplice self-styled Marquiz de Valfierno sold to the rich art patrons showing faked newspaper clippings on the report of theft of paintings from the museums.

After selling paintings "stolen" from Louvre Museum, Valfierno convinced an American that they could steal the Mona Liza for him. But to them the stealing was just a means to produce more fake paintings and sell them as the original. With the real Mona Liza stolen, who would not believe that it is the original?

Six Americans became proud possessors of nothing more than a clever fake of the painting.

It was only when they surrendered the paintings,when they learned that they were duped for 300,000 dollars for a poor reproductions of the smiling maiden.

Valfierno could not sell the original. It was too risky. Perugia stole it from him and tried to sell it to a Florentine art dealer. He got caught and the painting was returned to the Louvre where it had been smiling mysteriously to the visitors since 1911.

Similar crime was committed in San Francisco according to the wife of my former boss. She owned an art gallery which she sold after the husband died. So I was not surprised to see walls of the daughter's lving room covered by paintings of known artists; some original and some are repros. They cost a lot of money but are considered investments as they grow in value thru years.

I asked the old lady as to how they detect if they are not fake.

She said that it is not easy to tell if they are the original or mere reproductions.

She told a story about an artist who was caught faking old masters and selling them to rich patrons of the gallery.

The buyers of the fake paintings did not dispose of the fakes because the discovery of the fraud, brought greater value to the fake paintings.

Why am I telling this story? The last time, I visited her, the caregiver was too careless to bump the hundred year old clay sculpture of her grandmother displayed in her coffee table causing a big dent on the shoulder. I saw the old woman winced but did not utter a single word of disgust to the young lady.

That art of work for her is priceless.

The Ca t


At 11:29 AM, Blogger infraternam meam said...

since u are again with ur mona lisa, i just want to tell u what i have seen when i visited the Louvre in Paris. the Mona Lisa is just a small framed painting and it is encased in a glass case/cabinet, wherein you have to go to a three step mini stairs to be able to see it. it is highly vaulted in a glass casing and tightly secured. there are plenty of painting thieves and did you know that Imelda Marcos was one of the victim during their time, who bought a painting for an exhorbitant amount and then finding it to be fake. this is one pitfalls for greedy people, who buys stolen items, as what you have said in ur blog. i will let you finish the continutation of this blog then i will give you more informations. hige!!!

At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

C, ur still the master researcher!! awesome!!!



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