20 Aug '11, 8pm

Italian town honors 'Mona Lisa' thief as 'patriot' I forget. Did he cure polio or free the slaves? Oh, he was a thief.

The native town of an Italian labourer who stole the Mona Lisa from the Louvre museum in Paris 100 years ago on Sunday in the art world's most famous heist will honour him with a play that portrays him as a patriot. "We believe Peruggia was a patriot," said Simone Toffanin, director of the play entitled "The Trial of Vincenzo Peruggia" -- part of a summer theatre festival in the town of Dumenza north of Milan near the shores of picturesque Lago Maggiore. Recounting the famous house painter's story, the official website for Dumenza uses quotation marks around the word "thief" to describe Peruggia. Instead of the word "stolen", the website also says the painting was "withdrawn" from the Louvre. But Dumenza's mayor Corrado Nazario Moro said he did not want Peruggia to become some kind of local hero if only to safeguard his town's reputation. "We do not want to become known as...

Full article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/italian-town-honours-mona-lisa-t...

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