Mona Lisa may move to Louvre underground chamber

The iconic Mona Lisa, housed in the Louvre Museum, might be relocating to an underground chamber in a bid to enhance the viewing experience for millions of visitors, per

This comes as a response to complaints from tourists, labelling their encounter with da Vinci’s masterpiece as “the world’s most disappointing masterpiece.”

Protected by bullet-proof, anti-reflective glass, and stringent environmental controls, the painting still leaves many underwhelmed due to the long queues and limited viewing time. 

In a recent report by The Telegraph, Louvre director Laurence des Cars proposed the move, suggesting a dedicated underground chamber within the institution’s basement. Vincent Delieuvin, the Louvre’s chief curator of 16th-century Italian painting, explained, “Moving the Mona Lisa to a separate room could put an end to public disappointment.”

Visitors at the Louvre Museum, in Paris, on April 17, 2024/Antonin UTZ / AFP via Getty Images

With nine million visitors annually, the Mona Lisa remains the main draw, attracting 80 percent of the museum’s visitors. Despite previous attempts to improve the viewing experience, such as repainting gallery walls and changing the queuing system, the impact has been limited. 

The proposed underground chamber would be part of the future “Grand Louvre” renovation, which includes a new museum entrance. The estimated budget for the overhaul is €500 million, but with the French economy facing challenges, government officials are seeking to reduce state spending by €25 billion in the next annual budget.

Additionally, the Mona Lisa was recently the target of a protest in January, during which activists threw pumpkin soup at the painting. Although the painting suffered no damage, the incident was condemned by Culture Minister Rachida Dati as an attack on French heritage.

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