Have you heard of her? You probably have, thanks to Vincenzo Peruggia.
In 1911, Italian Immigrant and former Louvre employee, Vincenzo Peruggia, pulled off one of the greatest art thefts of the 20th century when he walked right out of the Louvre with the Mona Lisa. It was because of this that the well-known painting created by Leonardo DaVinci achieved world-wide fame due to the extensive media coverage of the missing portrait. Peruggia kept the painting hidden in his Parisian apartment until finally returning to his home country of Italy. According to Peruggia, he committed the theft as an act of patriotism and wanted to bring the painting back to Italy “after it was stolen by Napoleon”.
As it turns out, the Mona Lisa was not actually stolen by Napoleon; in fact, it was given as a gift to King Francis I by DaVinci himself when he moved to France during the 16th century.