Mona Lisa should be moved to an 'underground chamber', Louvre says

The Mona Lisa in The Louvre in Paris (PA Archive)
The Mona Lisa in The Louvre in Paris (PA Archive)

France’s Louvre could move the Mona Lisa to her own basement room in a bid to make it easier to see the world-famous artwork.

Around ten million visitors a year pay a visit to see the famous Da Vinci artwork, making it the most visited artwork in the world.

But many visitors have complained that the huge crowds and limited space in the gallery means it can be difficult to see Mona Lisa, with the Louvre management suggesting moving her to her own room to improve the experience.

Laurence des Cars, the museum’s director, said: “Moving Mona Lisa to a separate room could end the public’s disappointment.

“Visitors are not being properly received in the current room so we feel that we’re not doing our job properly.”

The 1503 painting is currently displayed behind bullet-proof glass in the centre of the Salle des Etats, with crowds kept at a distance by a barrier.

The portrait’s covering was upgraded with anti-reflective technology in 2019 in order to improve visitors’ viewing experience.

However, curators say the current viewing experience flies in the face of Da Vinci’s intention with the painting.

Vincent Delieuvin, chief curator of 16th-century Italian painting, told Le Figaro newspaper: “We’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but this time everyone is in agreement.

“It’s a large room, and the Mona Lisa is at the back, behind its security glass, so at first glance it looks like a postage stamp.

Leonardo da Vinci wanted to establish a face-to-face relationship between the painting and the person contemplating it.”

In January, protesters threw soup at the painting, which was not damaged due to its protective covering.

And in 2022, a man disguised as an elderly woman in a wheelchair threw cake at the famous painting.

The artwork had the glass installed in the 1950s to protect it after an acid attack.