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Mona just too popular

Louvre, Paris, France


Mona Lisa, Louvre, Paris, France



By Richard Moore


IT IS the most famous painting in the world - and the most expensive – valued at an estimated $760 million.

It was created between 1503 and 1506 by the Italian master painter, sculptor, designer and creator Leonardo da Vinci.

The Mona Lisa, as she is known, is called La Gioconda in Italian and La Joconde in French. It is a half-length portrait of the wife of a wealthy Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo.

Her name was Lisa and the Mona means my lady.

Da Vinci painted the work on white-painted poplar wood and it measures 77cm by 53cm. Not really small, but many people are surprised that it is not bigger.

The Mona Lisa has been housed at the Louvre Museum in Paris since 1797 and has had a pretty adventurous life for such an elderly lady.

She has been kidnapped – well, stolen, in 1911 by an Italian Vincenozo Peruggia who wanted to take it back to Italy.

She didn’t have a good year in 1956 when she was stoned – someone threw a rock at her – and before that survived an acid attack.

There have been other attacks, but now she sits snugly behind bullet-proof glass staring in amusement at the absolute chaos she causes among visitors to her gallery.

And boy is it mayhem as more than six million people a year pop in to catch a glimpse of her.

Actually, it is more like swarming by for those precious moments.

To get a longer view is a bit of a battle, that is if you are lucky enough to avoid the cameras, iPads, mobile phones, selfie sticks, selfie takers all holding their arms up as if they are surrendering to someone.

It is an absolute bun fight and photographing the goings on in the crowd is more fun that trying to elbow your way to see Mona Lisa.

Sometimes, beautiful ladies can be just too popular.




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