June 14, 2024
Art Gallery

The Louvre looking to move the ‘Mona Lisa’


Mona Lisa—the name alone evokes a well-instilled sense of inspiring beauty, subtle mystery, and an ageless captivation. It’s such a cultural staple that many of us can’t imagine making the trek to the Louvre without taking in da Vinci’s masterpiece. But in our high-security high-connection world, it has become common knowledge that the viewing experience of the painting leaves much to be desired. With public opinion so negative towards such an important work, it seems the Louvre may finally be poised to move the Mona Lisa.

 

The idea to move the Mona Lisa does not come suddenly—for decades the first impression of many tourists on the painting is how shockingly small it seems. Between the security glass that dwarfs it within its frame to the unavoidable distance most viewers have from the painting, there’s a profoundly underwhelming sense one gets from this iconized work of art. A recent analysis of over 18,000 reviews of masterpieces the world over saw the famous smiler taking the crown as “the world’s most disappointing masterpiece.”

 

This public perception has not fallen on deaf ears, and the Louvre is now looking at the option of an underground chamber specifically designed to give a better viewing experience for the Mona Lisa. With the intent of having one chamber expressly designed for the painting and another for rotating exhibits, this proposed renovation would also change the flow of attendee traffic with a new entrance directly to this chamber. Right now the overhaul is estimated to cost €500 million.

 

While it’s still uncertain if the Louvre will go with the decision to move the Mona Lisa—or if they’ll be able to afford the renovation to make it plausible thanks to Macron’s proposed budget cuts—it certainly seems to be a commonly-held desire between public and professionals. Da Vinci’s masterpiece deserves a space that makes one feel the true magnitude of this cultural icon, not one that makes it feel like a postage stamp.



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