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The theft was not discovered until the next day, when painter Louis Béroud walked into the museum and went to the Salon Carré where the Mona Lisa had been on display for five years, only to find four iron pegs on the wall.Béroud contacted the head of the guards, who thought the painting was being photographed for promotional purposes.In December 2015, it was reported that French scientist Pascal Cotte had found a hidden portrait underneath the surface of the painting using reflective light technology.describe the subject as smiling; the subject in Cotte’s portrait displays no smile.Experts universally agree it is based on Leonardo’s portrait of Mona Lisa.Other later copies of the Mona Lisa, such as that in the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo, and The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore also display large flanking columns.
This note likens Leonardo to renowned Greek painter Apelles, who is mentioned in the text, and states that Leonardo was at that time working on a painting of Lisa del Giocondo.
French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who had once called for the Louvre to be "burnt down", came under suspicion and was arrested and imprisoned. Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia had stolen the Mona Lisa by entering the building during regular hours, hiding in a broom closet, and walking out with it hidden under his coat after the museum had closed.
Apollinaire implicated his friend Pablo Picasso, who was brought in for questioning. Peruggia was an Italian patriot who believed Leonardo's painting should have been returned for display in an Italian museum. After having kept the Mona Lisa in his apartment for two years, Peruggia grew impatient and was caught when he attempted to sell it to directors of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Other academics argue that, given the historical documentation, Leonardo would have painted the work from 1513.
Circa 1504, Raphael executed a pen and ink sketch, today in the Louvre museum, in which the subject is flanked by large columns,.