The Louvre in Paris is full of priceless works of art. But it has not been immune to the impact of COVID. The world famous museum closed for months during the pandemic. Even when it did reopen its doors, fewer guests than usual arrived. Now, to help make up for 2020’s shortfalls, the Louvre is offering a once-in-a-lifetime chance for someone to examine the most famous painting ever. The museum is auctioning off the opportunity to get an up-close look at Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” during the one time of the year when she is not behind glass.
But while one person will enjoy this incredible event, everyone will benefit from the auction’s proceeds.
Christie’s is holding a special auction (which we first heard about at CNN) for a number of unique Louvre experiences. The crown jewel of the collection is a chance to see da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” in a way few ever will. The winner will get to be present for the painting’s yearly examination along with the museum’s director, Jean-Luc Martinez. That’s when the painting is “unhooked and taken out of her glass window” for a brief moment. It’s a chance for curators to inspect it for any damage.
The lucky person will also get a private visit with other Italian masterpieces in the Grand Gallery. That includes additional works by Leonardo, as well as Raphael, Caravaggio, and Veronese.
The auction started at €10,000 euros. Christie’s estimates the winning bid could be as high as €30,000 (more than $36,000 US). We’re willing to wager it will exceed that total. And we hope it does.
The auction will also includes other experiences. That includes a torchlight private tour and a private concert at the museum. And proceeds from all lots will be used to to make the Louvre more “accessible” to all visitors. That will included building a new educational space dedicated to the arts and culture.
And after 2020, the Louvre will need the extra space. A whole lot of guests have to make up for lost time.