Should The Louvre Move The Mona Lisa To Its Own Room?

The Mona Lisa, the world’s most famous portrait, could get a room of its own in the Louvre, the museum’s president said.

Such a move would give visitors, many of whom visit the Louvre for the famous painting alone, a better experience, Laurence des Cars told the broadcaster France Inter.

She said: “It’s always frustrating when you don’t give visitors the best possible reception, and that is the case for the Mona Lisa. A better solution seems necessary to me today,” adding that the Louvre was in contact with the culture ministry about potential solutions.

The Louvre, the world’s most popular museum, welcomed close to 9 million visitors in 2023.

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Des Cars said 80% of them – 20,000 people a day – braved the crowd to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile, often taking selfies in front of the painting.

The Mona Lisa hangs in the Louvre’s Salle des États (state room), the museum’s biggest, in a protective glass case, but Leonardo da Vinci’s masterwork is not alone there.

It is accompanied by works by 16th-century Venetian masters, and across the room hangs the Louvre’s biggest painting, The Wedding at Cana by Paolo Veronese.

The Mona Lisa was targeted by two environmental protesters in January, who hurled soup at the protrait, calling for “healthy and sustainable food”. The painting, which was behind bulletproof glass, was undamaged.

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