A Private Visit With Mona Lisa Has Fetched Nearly US$100K At Auction
The “Louvre Experience” sale included a tour of the museum by candlelight, a private concert, and even a tour with President-Director of the musée du Louvre Jean-Luc Martinez, but the headlining lot was “Mona Lisa Mania: Attend the Annual Examination of the Mona Lisa Outside Her Display Case,” a private encounter with the Mona Lisa that has just fetched US$98,000.
“Each year, the Mona Lisa is taken down from the wall and removed from her glass case for a fleeting moment. This masterpiece, painted by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1503 on a very thin poplar panel, is threatened by a crack,” Christie’s explained in the lot description. “Thus, the conservators in the department take advantage of this opportunity to check the condition of the world’s most famous painting. And you are invited to be a part of that very moment. You will be able to look straight into the eyes of the Mona Lisa and admire this iconic work from up close.”
The lucky bidder and a friend will be accompanied by Jean-Luc Martinez throughout the inspection of the Mona Lisa and will also experience a private tour of the Italian masterpieces in the Grande Galerie by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Caravaggio, Veronese, and many other prominent artists.
According to a Christie’s report, the auction in total earned approximately US$2.9 million in total. The musée du Louvre will put the earnings onward funds for new programs at the museum as well as “Studio” an art education space that is set to open in the coming year.