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MOVING MONA. Should the Mona Lisa just get a room? That is the question the Louvre is seriously asking. In a meeting earlier this month, Louvre President Laurence des Cars pointed to a photo of the typically jam-packed gallery where Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait sits at the end of a lengthy, switch-back line. “We host visitors poorly in this room, so as a result, we have the impression we are doing our jobs poorly,” she said. “Moving La Joconde [as it is called in French] to a room apart, could put an end to the public’s disappointment,” she added. A recent online poll by CouponBirds found the Mona Lisa was seen by tourists as “the most disappointing artwork in the world,” though most feel they have to see it at least once in their lifetime. So if moved, where would she go? The Louvre is looking into creating a new entrance to the museum, as part of a future “Grand Louvre” renovation, that would bypass the glass pyramid entry, and lead directly to underground rooms, one of which would house the Mona Lisa.

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Visitors take pictures of Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" (La Joconde), at the Louvre Museum, in Paris, on April 17, 2024. (Photo Antonin UTZ / AFP) (Photo ANTONIN UTZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Louvre Considers Moving Mona Lisa to Underground Chamber to End ‘Public Disappointment’

Centre Pompidou’s Economic Model Is Unstable, France’s Court of Auditors Reports

WILD WARDROBE. 200 items from punk fashion designer Vivienne Westwood’s wardrobe will be auctioned at Christie’s in London to benefit several organizations in June, reports WWD. The iconic British designer passed away in 2022 at 81, and the sale proceeds are earmarked for the Vivienne Foundation, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and Médecins Sans Frontières, among other philanthropies she supported. Westwood’s widower Andreas Kronthaler selected the clothing for sale, including a sweeping taffeta skirt and corset top, and clothing from the Propaganda collection.


The direct descendants of the Danish magnate Lars Emil Bruun (1852-1923) can finally sell his 20,000-piece coin collection worth some $72 million, which was locked in a will that prevented it from being auctioned for 100 years. The monumental coin and medal treasure will be sold by Stack’s Bowers, with the first lot offered this fall. [Bloomberg]

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has acquired a major Bartolomeo Manfredi painting once attributed to Caravaggio. Christie’s had estimated the painting, A Drinking Musical Party (1619-20), was worth $4 to $6 million when it was offered in 2022, and it has gone on view this week at the museum’s East Pavilion. [The Art Newspaper]

An audit has determined the Centre Pompidou in Paris “does not have the financial means to finance it development and investment projects itself.” The museum is set to begin an ambitious renovation project that will see the institution shuttered for five years, beginning in 2025. [Le Monde]

A rare exhibit at the Hoam Art Museum in South Korea looks at the complex, more active role of women in ancient Buddhist art than is commonly known. The show encompasses artworks from Korea, China, and Japan, including paintings, sculpture, and embroidery from 27 global collections, and underscores how women advanced the production of Buddhist art as both creators and influential patrons. [The South China Morning Post]

PEN America has scrapped its awards ceremony after about half the nominated writers and translators withdrew their books from consideration in protest of “failure to confront the genocide in Gaza.” Awards will still be granted to those who wish to participate. [NPR]

An immersive exhibit recreates the Nova Music Festival campgrounds in Re’im, Israel, which were attacked by Hamas on October 7. Located in a 50,000 square-foot space in Manhattan’s Financial District, it includes objects from the site including burned cars, and bullet-pocked portable toilets. [The Art Newspaper]


FIRST IMPRESSIONS. The Impressionist movement is being celebrated around the world on its 150th anniversary, pegged to the first art exhibit in Paris associated with what was an emerging new painting style in 1874. But there is much the public misunderstands, and doesn’t know about what these artists were doing, and why they began making such radical paintings. For Art in America, Kelly Presutti looks at five books that show how Impressionism “was diverse in its reckoning with changing social dynamics.” It was also not limited to Europe, spreading to Japan, South Africa, and Brazil, per “Globalizing Impressionism: Reception, Translation, and Transnationalism,” edited by Alexis Clark and Frances Fowle. “No one artist or nation lay claim to Impressionism, and there is no fixed definition of the movement,” summarizes Presutti.