The Renaissance helmet and body armor were made in Milan and encrusted in gold and silver, the Louvre said in a statement Thursday.
Baroness Salomon de Rothschild gave the armor to the French state in 1922. The pieces were on display at the Louvre when they were stolen overnight from May 31
“The circumstances surrounding the theft of these pieces, little known to the general public, remained a mystery,” the museum said.
At the time, the theft “deeply disturbed” museum staff, but the armor was restored thanks to the work of investigators, the statement said.
The armor will be on display in the Objets d’Art rooms on Richelieu’s wing when the Louvre reopens. It was closed to the public last October due to restrictions on blocking the coronavirus.
The armor will be on display when the museum reopens. Credit: THOMAS SAMSON / AFPGetty Images
Such thefts are rare, but not unheard of.
One of the most famous works of the museum was stolen more than 100 years ago.
Before the 20th century, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was not very well known outside the arts. But in 1911, a former Louvre employee looted the portrait and hid it for two years.
The public charm of theft has helped solidify the picture’s place in popular culture ever since.
The Mona Lisa is one of the star attractions in the most visited museum in the world.
Last year, the Louvre lost more than 90 million euros ($ 109 million) in revenue and experienced a 72% drop in visitors due to a disruption caused by the pandemic.
However, the museum makes the most of the closures by carrying out long-planned renovations.