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Florence Wants Mona Lisa Back for a Visit
Visitors crowd and take pictures of Leonardo da Vinci's painting La Gioconda (Mona Lisa), at the Louvre Museum. EPA/HORACIO VILLALOBOS.
FLORENCE (AP).- Florence officials are launching a campaign to bring the "Mona Lisa" back for a visit.

Leonardo da Vinci brought the painting of a Renaissance woman with an enigmatic smile to France in 1516, and it has mostly hung in the Louvre Museum since — with several famous exceptions.

One was its theft by an Italian immigrant in 1911. The "Mona Lisa" was recovered when he tried to sell it in Florence two years later. Before returning to France, the "Mona Lisa" was shown in several Italian cities.

To mark the anniversary, officials on Thursday announced a campaign to collect 100,000 signatures asking the Louvre to allow the painting to be displayed in Florence in 2013.

The painting traveled to the United States in 1962 and Japan and Moscow in the 1970s.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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