Event The Mona Lisa Temporarily on Display in the Galerie Médicis
La Joconde, portrait de Monna Lisa
© 2011 - Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN-GP / M. Urtado
To ensure the smooth progress of renovations in the Salle des États and maintain optimal visiting conditions, the Musée du Louvre has decided to temporarily transfer the Mona Lisa to the Galerie Médicis (room 801, level 2, Richelieu wing). The painting will remain there from July 17 until work in the Salle des États is completed at the beginning of October 2019.
Why is the Salle des États (or Mona Lisa room) being renovated?
The “Grand Louvre” project and the Pyramid were completed 30 years ago. Since then, museum attendance has surged to unprecedented levels, with visitor numbers more than doubling. Major renovations are once again required in order to:
- Improve reception of the growing number of increasingly international visitors
- Bring the Louvre in line with new security, accessibility, and conservation standards
- Refurbish spaces whose overall condition has deteriorated over time
- Upgrade the working conditions of Louvre staff
Fourteen years after its complete refurbishment (2001–2005), the Salle des États—the Mona Lisa’s customary home and the museum’s most visited room—is currently undergoing a new round of renovations.
Why is the Mona Lisa being moved?
In order to carry out renovations in the Salle des États in a timely manner while ensuring optimal visiting conditions, the Mona Lisa will be temporarily relocated. The painting will return to the Salle des États in October 2019.
One of the Louvre’s largest rooms, the Galerie Médicis is a suitable location for the Mona Lisa as it can accommodate the tens of thousands of visitors who come to see it every day. The painting will be displayed on a temporary wall, inside a temperature-controlled protective case like the one in which it is usually presented in the Salle des États.
The Mona Lisa is a particularly fragile work and can no longer travel outside the Louvre. Even within the Louvre, the work is moved only on rare occasions: it was transferred to the Grande Galerie between 1992 and 1995 to accommodate changes to museum spaces, and to the Salle Rosa between 2001 and 2005, during the previous renovation campaign of the Salle des États.
Due to its exceptional drawing power—it is estimated that 70% of all Louvre visitors wish to see the work—the Mona Lisa must be displayed in a space that can accommodate large numbers of people. The work will not feature in the “Leonardo da Vinci” exhibition (October 24, 2019–February 24, 2020), as the majority of visitors would be denied the pleasure of admiring the work due to the Hall Napoléon’s limited size.
How do I get to the Galerie Médicis (room 801)?
Once under the Pyramid, proceed to the Richelieu wing entrance. After the ticket controls, turn right and take the escalator to the top floor (level 2). Enter the Paintings collection rooms and continue to room 801 on your right.
The Louvre is open every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Free admission on the first Saturday of each month
from 6 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.