Famous Mona Lisa painting may get its own dedicated viewing room

Individual display of the Mona Lisa would provide visitors with a better experience, according to the director of the Louvre

Considered the world’s most famous and visited work of art, the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci could have its own dedicated room at the Louvre museum in Paris, according to the museum’s director. The goal is to enhance visitors’ experience of this masterpiece.
Currently hanging in the Louvre’s largest room, the Salle des Etats, the early 16th century painting is housed in a protective glass case. It is displayed alongside works by other 16th-century Venetian artists. On the opposite wall hangs the Louvre’s largest painting, The Wedding at Cana by Paolo Veronese.
“It’s always frustrating when you don’t provide visitors with the best possible experience, and that is the case for the Mona Lisa,” Laurence des Cars, the Louvre’s Director, told France Inter radio on Saturday. “A better solution seems necessary to me today,” she added, noting that the Louvre is in contact with the culture ministry regarding potential options.
The Louvre, the world’s most visited museum, welcomed close to nine million visitors in 2023. According to des Cars, around 20,000 people per day, or 80% of visitors, queue to glimpse the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa, often taking selfies in front of the painting.
However, with viewers averaging just 50 seconds to admire the painting, tourists have recently dubbed it “the world’s most disappointing masterpiece.”

Various attempts have reportedly been made to improve the painting’s viewing experience, most recently in 2019 when the walls of the Salle des Etats were repainted from eggshell yellow to midnight blue and the queuing system streamlined. In addition, the painting’s protective covering was upgraded with anti-reflective technology.
The Mona Lisa was targeted by two environmental protesters in January, who hurled soup at the portrait, calling for “healthy and sustainable food.” However, the painting was undamaged due to the bulletproof glass.
In 2022, a man disguised as an elderly woman in a wheelchair attacked the masterpiece, smearing cake cream on it. The perpetrator, who turned out to be a young man wearing a wig, was swiftly detained by security.