The Everyday Lore Project

21 August 2020 – Mona Lisa

21 August 2020 – Mona Lisa

Today marks the anniversary of the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre Museum, Paris in 1911. Some say the heister, or heisters, hid in a cupboard, waiting until everyone had left before emerging to steal the painting. Others say the thief was dressed as an employee, lifting it from the wall and shoving it up his smock. Some thought that Picasso was responsible, while others believed it was a plot to blackmail the French government. All of which, the burglary and subsequent speculation, catapulted da Vinci’s previously not much noticed Mona Lisa into international stardom.

So to honour this Ocean’s One (or Three), I popped a pinch of caraway seed into my purse. Obviously.

It’s said that caraway seeds keep sticky fingers and evil spirits away, while also binding wayward lovers to their partners. So any object (or person) you don’t want going astray, add to them some caraway goodness. Hence the purse. There’s not a lot more to say, other than the suggestion to scatter some in the car. But I doubt anyone would want to steal that, given the rust, the moss, the leak and the fermenting jar of blackberry leaves on the dashboard. 

Taken on 19 August 2020 on the way to Devil’s Dyke to collect the yarrow


Baker, M. (2019) Discovering The Folklore of Plants, Oxford, Shire Publications

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

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