Whether you’re an actual shady character trying to pick up morsels of wisdom or just a curious bloke who likes to live vicariously through others’ criminal exploits, everyone appreciates reading about a good heist. And while How to Steal the Mona Lisa is more about hypothetical high-stakes thievery than any actual heists that have taken place, it’s one fun read that should stir up your imagination.
Written by Taylor Bayouth, the book profiles seven existing works of art and historical artifacts, each of which is currently secured at separate, highly-fortified locations around the world. Going beyond the typical profile, it both documents the kind of security being utilized to protect each prized object and explores your options in circumventing them.
How to Steal the Mona Lisa is, basically, a book that details the findings of the author’s reconnaissance on the Hope Diamond, the Mona Lisa, the Archaeopteryx Lithographica, Rodin’s Thinker, King Tut’s golden mask, the Crown Jewels, and the Codex Leicester. Along with the reconnaissance, it schools readers on various skills they’ll need to properly conduct a heist, including picking locks, climbing buildings, navigating air ducts, hacking security systems, camouflaging a getaway car, wearing a disguise, and more.
Yes, there’s an absurd element to a speculative book about heists. Fortunately, the author knows it, so there’s plenty of absurdity to be enjoyed throughout its 224 pages, from excessively-elaborate preparations (like digging a tunnel that leads to right under a museum) to hilariously baffling challenges (like how you’re going to steal a sculpture that weighs 1,900 pounds).
Available now, How to Steal the Mona Lisa is priced at $11.20 for the paperback.