Mona Lisa to be seen ‘up close’ and ‘out of her display case’ by lucky bidder

Money raised will help The Louvre, which is facing a reported €90m hole amid Covid-19 

Adam White@__adamwhite
Tuesday 08 December 2020 14:00
The Mona Lisa voted the world’s most disappointing tourist attraction by Britons

The Mona Lisa will be seen “up close” and “outside of her display case” by a lucky bidder, in a move to raise funds for the struggling Louvre.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece is typically only seen by museum visitors from afar, and alongside large groups of people. A new auction, however, is granting a bidder full access to an inspection of the famous work.

“You will be able to look straight into the eyes of the Mona Lisa and admire this iconic work from up close,” a statement reads.

The interaction will take place during the Mona Lisa’s annual inspection. Every year, the painting is taken down from the wall and removed from its glass case by conservators, who check its condition.

The auction, held by Christie’s, has received two bids as of 8 December, with the prize currently going for €10,000 (£9,000). The Louvre has hopes to raise between €10,000 and €30,000  euros.

The Louvre has struggled in 2020, with the Covid-19 pandemic leaving it closed for five months. As a result, it is reported to lose €90m once the year is over.

“Everyone has been able to understand the difficulties that the pandemic has created for cultural institutions, and the Louvre is no exception,” Cécile Verdier, the President of Christie’s France, said in a statement.

Visitors take selfies in front of the Mona Lisa in 2019

“For many of us, the Louvre is a fabulous showcase for great artistic emotions. Thanks to the funds raised by this sale, promoting the Louvre’s activities for audiences unfamiliar with museums is all the more meaningful in these troubled times.”

Bidding for the “up close” inspection of the Mona Lisa continues at Christie’s, with the auction closing on 15 December.

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