The New York Times: Want to See the Mona Lisa? Get in Line

by Farah Nayeri


PARIS — The Mona Lisa gets around. 

In 1516, she was lugged out of Italy on the back of a mule by Leonardo da Vinci and ended up in France, where she became royal property. She lived for a time at the Palace of Versailles, then moved permanently to the Louvre Museum. That stay was interrupted in 1911, when a thief snatched her off the walls and kept her for two years in his Paris apartment before he was caught trying to sell her in Florence.

Now, the Mona Lisa is on the move again. And while it’s only a temporary relocation — from one wing of the Louvre to another — it’s causing commotion here.

The Salle des États, where the painting has hung since 2005, is being renovated in time for the October opening of an exhibition commemorating the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death. So since July 17 the portrait has been installed in a protective case on a temporary wall in another gallery.


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August 12, 2019
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