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Has the Mona Lisa been stolen? Paris tourist’s TikTok video sparks panic

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‘Has the Mona Lisa been stolen?’ Tourist’s TikTok video showing police vans hurtling through Paris sparks panic that Da Vinci masterpiece has been taken from the Louvre gallery

Fears that the world’s most famous painting had been stolen from its home in the Louvre art museum were sparked after a tourist posted a video on TikTok.

@narvanator’s ten second clip of security vans and police cars blue-lighting through the city – close to the Arc de Triomphe – has now been watched by 1.4 million people, and a fair few of them are convinced Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece has fallen into dubious hands.  

Perhaps they’ve been watching Knives Out: A Glass Onion Mystery, where the famous painting is the target of a heist. Or last year’s Minions: The Rise of Gru, which also sees the masterpiece under threat. 

While the Louvre hasn’t comment on the video and the painting seems to be safely under lock and key at the Paris art museum, it certainly isn’t unthinkable that it could go missing – it was stolen in 1911, and has been vandalised four times. 

Scroll down for video 

Quelle Panique! Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Mona Lisa – also known as La Gioconda – pictured in Paris in 2020 – a tourist’s video this week sparked panic that the famous painting had gone missing

The short video of the gendarmerie apparently hurtling towards a major incident was captioned with the words: ‘POV: Your [sic] in Paris when the Mona Lisa has been stolen’.

Many of the 15,000 people joked that ‘Gru’ – the bad guy in The Minions film franchise had been up to no good, referencing a plotline in last year’s film. 

Others suggested heroic children’s duo Ladybug and Cat Noir – who’ve rescued the Mona Lisa before – might soon be in the French capital to see the painting – also known as La Gioconda – safely returned. 

The TikTok tourist captioned the short clip: 'Your [sic] in Paris when the Mona Lisa has been stolen' - sparking panic - and Google searches - from people who assumed it was true

The TikTok tourist captioned the short clip: ‘Your [sic] in Paris when the Mona Lisa has been stolen’ – sparking panic – and Google searches – from people who assumed it was true

The Louvre, where the painting is kept, hasn't commented on the clip, which 1.4million people have seen, but there have been no reports of a genuine theft (PicturedL The Arc de Triomphe)

The Louvre, where the painting is kept, hasn’t commented on the clip, which 1.4million people have seen, but there have been no reports of a genuine theft (PicturedL The Arc de Triomphe)

Searches for 'Has the Mona Lisa been stolen?' shot up on Google last night - with 1.4 million people having watched the clip.

Searches for ‘Has the Mona Lisa been stolen?’ shot up on Google last night – with 1.4 million people having watched the clip. 

As with all good rumours, a percentage assumed it was true – and searches for ‘Has the Mona Lisa been stolen?’ shot up on Google last night.  

The painting remains the hot ticket at the city’s Louvre Museum and is closely guarded at all times. 

Leonardo da Vinci’s mysterious painting of Lisa del Giocondo, a Florentine silk merchant’s wife, sees thousands of tourists flock into the gallery for a glimpse of it every week.

The painting was originally bought by King Francois I in the early 16th century – for the equivalent of 12 tons of pure silver – and was hung in his bathroom.

One Victorian art critic wrote of the painting’s appeal: ‘Perhaps of all ancient pictures, time has chilled it least. She is older than the rocks among which she sits like the vampire, she has been dead many times and learned the secrets of the grave, and has been a diver in deep seas and keeps their fallen day about her, and all this has been to her as the sound of lyres and flutes.’ 

In 1911, the Louvre was found wanting with security, and a thief was able to take the Mona Lisa off the wall and walk away with it. 

After frenzied speculation on its whereabouts – with Picasso a suspect at one time – the Da Vinci painting was eventually tracked down in Paris, two years later – stored under a bed in a trunk. 

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