for Questioning in the Theft of the MonaLisa

   In 1911, the MonaLisa was stolen from the Louvre in Paris (refer to the Stolen MonaLisa link on our Crime Scenes and Capers page for further info on this case). Both Pablo Picasso, who resided in Montmarte, and his close friend Apollinaire, were brought in by the French Suerte' as suspects in this crime.

   In 1907, a friend of Apollinaire's named Ge'ry Pieret, stole several valuable artifacts from a storeroom at the Louvre, simply by placing them under his overcoat and walking out. Pieret was a former boxer from Belgium who turned to writing. Both Picasso and Apollinaire bought objects from Pieret and later denied knowing they were stolen. Fernande Olivier stated that Pieret warned Picasso on the day he bought two small Iberian heads, not to display them but to keep them hidden from view. Picasso kept the objects in an inconspicuous place, fully aware of their illicit nature.

   After the theft of the MonaLisa, Pieret sold his story, along with a full confession and a statuette from the museum, to the Paris-Journal. Pieret wanted a little cash and some notoriety. This article further humiliated the Louvre and implemented Picasso and Apollinaire. Both Picasso and Apollinaire were over come with fear (both were subject to deportation due to alien status) and contemplated throwing the artifacts into the Seine.

   Picasso was brought in for questioning, where he gave up his Iberian heads, and was released.

   Apollinaire was arrested on September 7, 1911. He was not released until September 12, 1911. He was extremely frightened and hated his stay in a cell, however, for years after the fact, he would boast of being the only man in France to be arrested for the famous crime.