Louvre to give 'Mona Lisa' a room of her own

LIKE ANY grown-up girl - in this case almost 500 years old - the Mona Lisa is to have a room of her own. She is, however, definitely not going to have a face-lift.

The world's most celebrated and gawped-at painting hangs at present behind bullet-proof glass in a gallery crowded with other 16th-century Italian masterpieces in the Louvre in Paris. At the height of the tourist season, you have to snatch a look at her famous half-smile through a hedge of rucksacks.

The museum confirmed yesterday that plans were advanced to segregate the Leonard da Vinci masterpiece from her fellow Italians and give her a small gallery of her own. The Louvre adamantly denied speculation in the art world that, in readiness for the move, the Mona Lisa would be restored. "Our proposal concerns only the presentation of the painting. It has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with restoration," said the museum's spokesman, Christophe Monin, yesterday.

There have been reports that an unknown Japanese company intends to provide pounds 25m for the project. Since this seemed well-beyond the price of a single room, even in Paris, there was speculation that the price would also cover restoration of the picture

Some art experts believe that the painting, darkened by the passage of time and the accretion of dirt and dust, would benefit from modern restorative techniques. Others insist that Da Vinci's brush-work is so delicate it cannot be restored without being ruined.

The museum said yesterday, that the total cost of the project was actually pounds 4m: just enough to create a special gallery, not enough to attempt a restoration. The re-siting of the Mona Lisa would provide one of the finishing touches to the pounds 600m expansion and redesign of the Louvre over the last 16 years, which has created one of the largest, and most modern, art museums in the world.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Property Manager

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...

Recruitment Genius: Mechanical Design Engineer

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat