Have a few millions to spare? You could get a chance to admire Mona Lisa up close

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Mona Lisa Image
Representational Image

Thanks to a recent auction from the Louvre Museum in Paris, one lucky bidder will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the ‘Mona Lisa’.

The auction, which began on December 1st, is offering one of a number of once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

According to a press release from Christie’s auction house, the winner will attend the annual examination of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa,” which is when one of the most famous paintings in the world is taken from its case for inspection.

Other experiences awaiting the winning bidder include a private museum tour with the president and director of the Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez, a torchlight night tour of the museum and a private concert in the Caryatid Hall.

As part of the auction, luxury brands such as Cartier and Dior have partnered up with the museum to deliver curated experiences.

Jewelry brand Cartier has donated one of its Panthère de Cartier bracelets for auction, and it will be presented to the winning bidder during a private visit to the gallery. The winner will be taken to see the French crown jewels as well as visiting Cartier’s secret jewelry workshops in Paris.

In a press release, organizers said the Louvre will use auction proceeds to make the museum “accessible to all.” Plans include the Louvre Museum Studio, a new space that will focus on artistic and cultural education.

“This period of pandemic, which is hitting the most vulnerable in society first, makes this project even more necessary,” said Mr. Martinez.

The auction will end on December 15. Winning bidders will have two years to use their experiences.

The Louvre is the world’s largest and most popular art museum, attracting around 10 million visitors per year. But like many facilities, the Louvre has had to close its doors to the public for several months this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.