The Story Behind the Mona Lisa Heist

Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. Red chalk....

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The police photograph and fingerprint record from the arrest of Vincenzo Peruggia. Courtesy of Joe Medeiros

For exactly a century, mystery has wrapped the most famous art crime in history — the theft of the Mona Lisa.

What many to consider the greatest portrait of all time, painted by Leonardo da Vinci from 1503 to 1507, disappeared from the Louvre on August 21, 1911. It was stolen by Vincenzo Peruggia (1881-1925), an Italian immigrant living in Paris who lived with the masterpiece for over two years.

Peruggia was never apprehended until he returned the Mona Lisa to Florence through an Italian art dealer, claiming he stole the painting to return it patriotically to the Italian people.

News: Dig for Mona Lisa’s Bones to Begin

However, the case has remained as elusive as the Mona Lisa’s smile.

It was hard to believe that Peruggia committed the theft alone, and several conspiracy theories arose.

“The prevailing theory was that he was just a small cog in a grand scheme to sell Mona Lisa forgeries to American millionaires. The theft of the real Mona Lisa was the only way to convince the buyers they were purchasing the real thing,” Joe Medeiros, author of the 88-minute documentary “The Missing Piece: The Truth About the Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa,” told Discovery News.

Medeiros, the former head writer for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” acquired copies of 1500 documents in the French an Italian archives, including police files and court documents, and finally discovered that money -– not really patriotism –- lay behind the famous theft.

Vincenzo Peruggia. Italy State Police/Wikimedia

In an attempt to find clues about Peruggia the man — who he was, what he thought and why he stole the painting — Medeiros met with Peruggia’s daughter Celestina in Italy.

But Celestina, who passed away in March at 87, knew very little about father.

“He died when she was a toddler,” said Medeiros.

Blog: Mona Lisa’s Smile Hides Da Vinci’s Technique

The filmmaker went to the Louvre and re-traced the route Perruggia took to steal the painting.

At the time of the theft, Peruggia was a 29 year-old housepainter who had worked at the Louvre for a short time helping cover 1600 masterpieces with glass to protect them from vandalism.

Peruggia became familiar with all the Italian art and wondered why it was in a French museum.

He read that Napoleon had looted Italy’s art treasures when he conquered the country and brought them back to Paris. Thus he believed that all the Italian art in the Louvre was there illegally and decided to bring one picture back to its country.

News: Nude, Mona Lisa-Like Painting Surfaces

Unaware that the Mona Lisa was sold by Leonardo da Vinci himself to King Francois I of France, he turned to this painting because it was small and easy to carry.

“He stole the masterpiece by simply walking into the museum on a Monday when the Louvre was closed for cleaning. He was dressed in a white smock and thus blended in with he other workers,” said Medeiros.

It was the easiest task: Peruggia removed the painting from the wall, took it from its frame and walked out of the museum with the Mona Lisa under his arm, wrapped in his smock.

The theft wasn’t discovered until the next day because the Louvre guards assumed the masterpiece was with the museum photographer.


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No Technical Know-How Needed: Endless Forms Web Site Helps Users ‘Breed’ 3-D Printable Objects

Forget draft tables and complicated computer-aided design programs: You dream it. Endless Forms helps you design it.

Cornell University engineers are allowing anyone to point, click, collaborate and create online in the evolution of printable, three-dimensional objects. They aim to transform the design of art, architecture and artificial intelligence.

Their new, interactive website, allows users to design their own things — from lamps and butterflies to furniture and faces — without any technical knowledge and using the same principles that guide evolutionary biology.

The Web site was developed by Jeff Clune, Cornell postdoctoral fellow; Jason Yosinski, Cornell graduate student in engineering; and Eugene Doan, Cornell undergraduate student in the Creative Machines lab of Hod Lipson, Cornell associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and computing and information science.

EndlessForms users can develop objects just as gardeners raise roses — a “generation” of objects is displayed, and a user chooses objects they like, which are “bred” to produce the next generation. Over time, objects evolve and users can publish these objects. Others can further evolve, share and rate them, creating a collaborative exploration of designs that, according to Lipson, represents an entirely new way of thinking about design. Users can then have their objects made by 3-D printing companies in a wide range of materials, such as silver, steel, ceramic or sandstone.

The concept eliminates the need for skilled engineers to draw in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) programs, which can be complicated and non-intuitive. These new design tools free people to focus creativity, instead of being mired in technical details, Lipson said.

Now that 3-D printing is taking off, the goal is to unshackle the design process, flooding the industry with objects that are truly one of a kind. Lipson likens the 3-D printing industry to iPods with no music — the printers exist, but the availability of content is bottlenecked by the old methods like CAD that few people know how to use and that stifle creativity.

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Go to to try it out yourself!!

Great Stop-Motion Video

The animation is made from coins : painstakingly made frame-by-frame by Daniel Larsson and Tomas Redigh.

Film stills © Daniel Larsson and Tomas Redigh
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Citroen Survolt and Agni z2 a breathtaking Super car and racing bike duo

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Sachin Tendulker and Birender Shehwag, Tom and Jerry, those can be examples of some great couples the universe has seen. Citroen Survolt and Agni Z2, a couple of a car and a bike have been designed to be included in that list of the best couples.

Aside from being super stylish, both the concept car and the bike is powered with all electric drivetrain, making them team of silent super racers on the track. The black shiny carbon bodywork along with glowing blue lines, appearance of the racing car and the super bike can attain the attention of all range of extreme sports lovers. The Survolt features an emission-free, eco-friendly engine and propels by two powerful electric motors empowered by two 31kw lithium-ion batteries ensuring 200 km of smooth driving. The Agni Z2 on the other hand features a pack of 80 batteries giving the bike a 3.5 seconds torque to reach 60 mph from 0.

Designer: Dom Vizor

Citroen Survolt and agni z2


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Awesome jQuery Plugins And Techniques To Create Visually Excellent Websites

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Are you looking for some cool and handy jQuery Plugins, you landed at right place. Below we are presenting 45 most useful and handy plugins that you can use in your next project and make it stand out.

jQuery is the most well-known and open source JavaScript library which is being used all around the world because it simplifies the client-side scripting of HTML. You can also create marvelous effects by using these plugins. Enjoy!

gMap – Google Maps Plugin For jQuery

Demo | Download

GMap for JQuery


jQuery Quicksand

Demo | Download

quicksand jquery


Jquery Plugin MopSlider 2.4

Demo | Download

jquery plugin mopslider


Auto-Playing Featured Content Slider

Demo | Download

jquery content feuture slider


For many many more fantastic Plugins, head over: HERE

Vintage Advertisement of Modern Technology

Vintage design is always described as outdated, old looking design with most updated products like Facebook or Nintendo Wii featured… what?


“The sublime, mighty community with just 140 letters!” Designed by advertising agency Moma.

twitter Vintage Advertisement of Modern Technology


“Send and watch splendid and captivating films, 24/7.” Designed by advertising agency Moma.



Guitar Hero

Have a rockin’ Christmas! Adapted by Partyshot.


For more Modern-Vintage Ads head over: HERE

Da Vinci Ode: Record Setting Man-Powered Flying Machine

Flying was once the focus of every crazy inventor, from amateurs right up to the masters. We’ve conquered the skies since then, but there’s one thing mankind has never been quite able to do: build a human-powered ornithopter that can actually fly. The ornithopter has been envisioned since ancient times but was given a concrete (yet still theoretical) shape in Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawings. In the ensuing centuries, many have tried but none have succeeded at making a human-powered, wing-flapping flying machine that stays aloft for any impressive amount of time. But now a team at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies has created an ornithopter that can do just that.



The PhD candidate who piloted the craft had to lose 18 pounds of his body weight just to fly the extremely light-weight vehicle. The ornithopter, dubbed The Snowbird, weighs only 94 pounds despite having a wingspan of 105 feet. The craft maintained its flight for a record-setting 19.3 seconds, flying a length of around 475 feet.

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