The mystery of the Missing Mona Lisa


As you may know, the Mona Lisa is one of the world’s most famous and celebrated paintings. People from all over the world come to visit this beautiful masterpiece in Paris France, at The Louvre. That was, until it was stolen! The Louvre needs your help finding the perpetrator so that the Mona Lisa can once again be on display for all to see. Below is a summary of the interviews that were conducted by the local police. It is your job to study the interviews and determine who is the criminal in this case. After reading the interviews, read some clues that will help you solve the mystery. Write your answer – in english please! – in the comment section below. That’s it detectives! Off to do your work now! Good luck!



Mrs. Cunningham – The Museum Curator

Q: What time did you arrive at the museum on Thursday, June 23rd?:

A: I arrived at 7:30 a.m. like I do every morning. I am always the first one to open the museum doors. Early bird gets the worm, I always say.

Q: As a curator, your job is to oversee the artwork. When did you realize the painting was missing?

A: Every morning I do my rounds of checking the artwork. The Mona Lisa is one of the first pieces I check. I would say it was about 9:00 a.m. when I realized that it was gone. I was the one who alerted the authorities.

Q: According to you, who was the next person to arrive at the museum?

A: The next person that I saw come into the museum was Mr. Jones, the museum’s art maintenance man.


Mr. Jones – The Museum’s Art Maintenance Man

Q: What time did you arrive at the museum on Thursday, June 23rd?

A: I arrived at the museum at about 6:30 a.m. I am always the first one at the museum. Mrs. Cunningham doesn’t know that I am there before she is. She’s kind of out of it if you ask me.

Q: That’s odd, because Mrs. Cunningham stated that she was the first to arrive at the museum. Which door did you come through when you entered the building?

A: There are two entrances to the building. On the map below, you can see the employee entrance and the main doors. I always come through the employee entrance. Mrs. Cunningham always comes through the main doors.

mona lisa mystery (2)


Nancy Smith – Morning Tour Guide

Q: What time did you arrive at the museum on Thursday, June 23rd?:

A: I arrived at 9:00 a.m. like I always do.

Q: Which entrance did you use?

A: The employee entrance, duh. That’s the one we’re supposed to use.

Q: How long have you worked for The Louvre?

A: I’ve been here for about two years.

Q: So you know Mrs. Cunningham and Mr. Jones quite well?

A: Yes, I’d say so.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: I’d just like to say that I had nothing to do with this awful tragedy. The Mona Lisa was my favorite painting in The Louvre and I would never do anything to harm her! I just hope she is found in one piece!


John Friedberg – Museum Historian

Q: What time did you arrive at the museum on Thursday, June 23rd?:

A: I arrived at 8:00 a.m. sharp!

Q: How long have you worked at the museum?

A: I have worked here for more than 20 years. The Louvre is really an exquisite museum.

Q: Do you work closely with any of the other employees?

A: Oh yes, Mrs. Cunningham and I are very close. I mean when it comes to work that is. Nothing more than a work relationship.


James Briar – Gift Shop Attendant

Q: What time did you arrive at the museum on Thursday, June 23rd?:

A: I think it was about 10 a.m., somewhere around there. When I showed up, there were a lot of cops outside. It was weird.

Q: Have you ever felt suspicious of one of the other museum employees?

A: Well, Nancy Smith would stand in front of the Mona Lisa for hours. I think she was obsessed with that painting. Kind of strange if you ask me.

Q: The night before the robbery, did you notice anything suspicious?

A: Hmm…now that I think about it, yes. There was a piece of tape around the lock of the employee door. I didn’t remove it. I thought it was there for a reason.


Amelia Johnson – Late Shift Museum Tour Guide

Q: The night before the robbery, what time did you leave the museum?

A: Well we close at about 10 p.m., so I would say that I left around 10:30 that night.

Q: Did you notice any suspicious activity that night?

A: I did see Mrs. Cunningham walking around the parking lot when I left. I thought that was a little strange. But that crazy old woman is always here. If I didn’t know better, I’d think she even lives here.

Q: Anything else we should know?

A: Watch out for Mr. Jones. That’s all I’m going to say.



Amelia Johnson was the last person to leave the museum the night before the robbery happened.

Mrs. Cunningham had been seen walking around the parking lot late the night before the robbery.

Mr. Jones and Mrs. Cunningham were not fond of each other.

James Briar was an irresponsible teenager.

Nancy Smith loved the Mona Lisa. She would spend her lunch break admiring the painting.

John Friedberg was very fond of Mrs. Cunningham. He would do almost anything for her. He tried to keep it a secret, but many people knew.

John Friedberg usually left the museum around 5 p.m. The night of the 22nd he left around 10:30 p.m. He said he was working on a special project for the museum’s event the next week.

Mr. Jones was the only museum employee who had access to the Mona Lisa’s safe combination. Mr. Jones kept a copy of all the museum’s safe combinations in a locked filing cabinet in his office.

James Briar often took lunch breaks with Nancy Smith.

Amelia Johnson was angry at Mr. Jones for promoting Nancy Smith and not her.

Mr. Jones realized that the keys to his filing cabinet were missing and the safe combinations had been stolen.

Amelia Johnson was the last employee to leave on June 22nd .

Mrs. Cunningham was a persuasive and credible person. She was well liked by most of the staff and they trusted her.

Mrs. Cunningham had made a comment to Nancy Smith, saying, “I would love to hang that beautiful piece of artwork in my home. The Mona Lisa is just magnificent!”

Mr. Jones had told Mrs. Cunningham that he did not give the promotion to Amelia Johnson, because she was an undependable employee.

John Friedberg was a mastermind at eavesdropping.

Mrs. Cunningham did not feel the same way about John the way he felt about her. She thought he was a little odd.

James Briar said that he saw John Friedberg in Mr. Jones office.

Fingerprints from the crime scene show that Nancy Smith had touched the Mona Lisa’s safe combination.

Mrs. Cunningham often walked around the parking lot of The Louvre late at night for exercise. Her apartment was only 3 miles away. She was very dedicated to her job.

Mr. Jones failed to report that his safe combination files had gone missing. The police thought this was suspicious.

Mr. Jones had a roll of duct tape in his office.

John Friedberg was reluctant to speak with authorities after the robbery happened.

Amelia Johnson worked alone at night.



Directions: Take notes and make inferences, like a real detective.

For example:

Characters involved in this mystery:

  1. Mrs. Cunningham –> Was not fond of Mr. Jones. Had been seen walking around the parking lot the night of the robbery.
  2. Mr. Jones –> Was not fond of Mrs. Cunningham.
  3. Nancy Smith –> Loved the Mona Lisa painting and often admired it.
  4. John Friedberg –> Very fond of Mrs. Cunningham. Usually left the museum around 5pm, but stayed late on the 22nd for a special project.
  5. James Briar –> Irresponsible teenager. Often took lunch breaks with Nancy smith.
  6. Amelia Johnson –> Last person to leave the museum the night of the robbery. Worked alone at night.

What I think happened:

What I think happened is that Nancy Smith stole the painting, because she admired it so much. (This is just an example, not the correct answer)

17 Σχόλια

  1. The answer to the mystery of the Missing Mona Lisa: John Friedberg was very fond of Mrs. Cunningham. He had often told fellow employees that he would do anything for her, anything. Unfortunately for John, Mrs. Cunningham did not feel the same way about him. She barely spoke to John and turned down his date offers, several times. John had overheard Mrs. Cunningham telling Nancy Smith that she would love to have the Mona Lisa to hang in her home. Of course, Mrs. Cunningham was exaggerating, she knew she could never have the actual painting in her home. John saw this as an opportunity to swoon Mrs. Cunningham. John went into Mr. Jones’ office, stole his keys, unlocked his filing cabinet, stole the safe combinations and took the roll of duct tape on the way out. John duct taped the employee door lock so that he could get in to The Louvre later that night. He snuck back into the building later that night and stole the Mona Lisa.

  2. Mona Lisa Mystery

    I think that John Friedberg stole the painting, but he was not alone.Amelia Johnson helped him.John Friedberg would do anything for Mrs Cunningham’s attention and since she wasn’t fond of Mr Jones,John Friedberg tried to incriminate him.He was a master at eavesdropping so he heard the comment Mrs Cunningham had made to Nancy Smith saying how much she’d love to hang the Mona Lisa painting at her home,so he stole it and was going to give it to her as a present.Amelia Johnson was also angry at Mr Jones for promoting Nancy Smith by putting her fingerprints at the crime scene.After Nancy’s arrest she going to replace her at work.

  3. I think Nancy Smith stolen the picture beacause
    There was a piece of tape around the lock of the employee doorand Nancy Smith use the employee entrance she arrived at 9:00 o’clock and mrs Cunningham at 9:00 o’clock realised that the painting of Mona Lisa is missing.She also love Mona Lisa .And fingerprints from the crime scene show that Nancy Smith had touched the Mona Lisa’s safe combination!!!

  4. I think 5hat Mr Jones called Nancy to his office to tell her that he is promoting her and she touched the combination of the Mona Liza that was upside down to his table with the others because he wanted to rearrange them. But when Nancy got away John went there to hear that the combinations are in the cabine. But there was James too who saw him there. So the night he stayed too late for that «project» in reality he was there to steal Mona Liza. I also think that he asked Mr Jones to take the key to his room to take some things for the project. Jones without knowing that he knew about the files he borrowed him the key. Then John went to the room found the keys for the cabin and took the file of Mona Liza. But when he was still there,before John goes there, James saw the tape around the door. It was there because John didn’t wanted anyone to get there before him. (that’s not the best explanation about this but anyway)
    The next day Mr. Jones saw that the combinations were gone but he didn’t record because he might didn’t have something to record or realized that his phone was off battery. And John didn’t talk to the authorities because he was afraid that they will find him.
    Now you may ask «OK but why he did that?» Well the answer is simple. Because as he himself said he was very close to Mrs. Cunnighan. He would do anything for her. That was also a reason that she thought he was odd. And because he somehow learned about what she commented to Nancy, even if she didn’t actually meant it as I believe, he wanted to make this dream come true. To have this piece of art to her home! Now that I mention her, I believe that because she was so good she wouldn’t do something bad. So she really did that day taka a walk for exercise and in this specific place because it is a good place. Amelia didn’t seem to have to do with all of this as well as James who just saw things. And Nancy, yes she was too obsessed the painting but as she herself stated, she couldn’t do anything to harm her. And Jones had the files for a reason it doesn’t make sense to my mind that he is the robber.
    Well that’s just my theory! I think it makes sense!

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