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- The Crimes of Paris?
The one hitch in the plan was that Perugia had failed to test beforehand the duplicate key Valfierno had made for the door at the bottom of the small staircase that Perugia used to make his escape. At the moment he needed it, the key failed to turn the lock. The plumber named Sauvet appeared and, seeing only one man in a white smock, had no reason to be suspicious. He opened the door and went on his way, soon followed by Perugia and the other two thieves.
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At the vestibule, luck was on their side again, for the guard stationed there had abandoned his post temporarily to get a bucket of water to clean the floor. It was, indeed, the perfect crime. The story that he carried it around in his trunk for two years was false.
See a Problem?
What about the copies? Decker wanted to know. Someday, speculated Valfierno, all of them would reappear. That in the Prado Museum is, if anything, superior to the one in the Louvre. Every now and then a new one pops up. I merely added to the gross total. Perhaps significantly, Decker chose not to publish this sensational story in one of the Hearst publications, even though he was still a Hearst employee.
There is no external confirmation for it. Yet it has frequently been assumed to be true by authors writing about the case.
The Crimes of Paris: A True Story of Murder, Theft, and Detection
True or false? That mystery has yet to be solved. Blerio flies his tiny airplane across the English channel, we meet both Poincares - the mathematician and the premier, Guillaume Apollinaire is busy promoting his new Spanish painter friend, Pablo Picasso, and both become involved, more or less innocently in the purchase of Etruscan statuettes stolen from the sleepy Louvre, while Marcel Proust leaves his cork-lined room to sit in on a sensational murder trial.
The Crimes of Paris begins and ends with the story of the crime of the century - the theft of Mona Lisa from the Louvre. That event provides the two bookends - the crime itself in the beginning and its spectacular resolution, sure to shock you even today, in the end.
In between, you see a caleidoscopic picture of Parisian underworld.
A True Story of Murder, Theft, and Detection
Prostitutes lure johns to their deaths; a gang stages the first ever escape from a bank robbery in a car; and you discover how long it takes to put three condemned criminals through a single guillotine - 40 seconds. You meet great criminologists, such as Bertillon and Vucetic, and sit in on the Dreyfus trial and re-trial. The fast-paced action, engaging writing, and a great sense of history make this book a piece of brain candy, addictive and impossible to put down. The authors' ability to weave so many strands into a cogent whole makes for a very pleasurable read.
It is nominally about the theft of Mona Lisa from the Louvre but it is really a scattershot of themes and anecdotes related and not so related to the theft.
THE CRIMES OF PARIS by Dorothy Hoobler , Thomas Hoobler | Kirkus Reviews
These include the police's evolving methods of crime detection, the Parisian underworld and the less romantic side of bohemian cafe life. I guess this could be a drawback if you were dead set on knowing every last detail about the theft and recovery of the world's best known painting, but luckily for the book and me it wanders into areas that I found endlessly fascinating and welcome.
I enjoyed it from beginning to end.
The Crimes of Paris A True Story of Murder, Thefction
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