Louvre Museum auctions time with Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece 'Mona Lisa' to plug COVID-hit finances
08 Dec 2020
An employee at the Louvre Museum adjusts the Mona Lisa.
Niloufar Saleem, Gulf Today
As the world struggles to cope up with the on-going coronavirus pandemic and the financial crisis caused because of that, French museum Louvre puts time alone with the Mona Lisa on auction.
The museum will give the highest bidder an opportunity to view the masterpiece from a close proximity as well as allow the bidder to take a walk along the museums historic rooftop.
The painting "Mona Lisa" (La Joconde) by Leonardo da Vinci is seen.
The masterpiece is usually viewed by batches of people as they struggle to get a glimpse of the beautiful artwork.
"The Louvre is suffering like all big museums around the world," said Yann Le Touher, who handles relations with the Louvre's patrons.
Yann Le Touher, Head of Development, Commercial Partnerships & Brand Licensing at the Louvre poses.
Each year, the "Mona Lisa", perhaps the world's most famous painting, is taken down from the wall and removed from its glass case for a fleeting check. The work, from around 1503, is threatened by a crack.
Auctioneer Christie's hopes the online auction will raise more than 1 million euros ($1.2 million), including an estimated 10,000-30,000 euros for the "Mona Lisa" experience.
The Louvre received nearly 10 million visitors in 2019, but has been closed for more than five months this year during two coronavirus lockdowns. While it was open in the summer, numbers through the gate were down by as much as 75% during peak months.