Whether you’re an art lover or not, a visit to see the famed Mona Lisa and her intriguing smile is on everybody’s bucket list. Starting October 2019, visitors will have to book their visit to Paris’ Louvre in advance owing to the masterpiece’s massive popularity. By Bayar Jain
It’s not surprising that Paris’ Louvre is one of the most visited museums in the world. Home to great works such as Alexandros of Antioch’s Venus de Milo statue, the Winged Victory of Samothrac statue, and Jacques-Louis David’s Coronation of Napoleon, it is Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa that attracts the most visitors throughout the year. It is estimated that over 10.2 million tourists throng this art haven every year. This summer — considered the hottest summer in Paris in seventy years — these numbers swelled. Locals and tourists headed to the museum to seek respite from the blistering heat, leading to overcrowding. This issue heightened due to the temporary relocation of Mona Lisa to the Medici Gallery from its usual spot in the States Room. The Medici Gallery is accessed through elevators, resulting in long lines and crowds in the heart of the museum. The solution? Pre-book tickets. Starting October 2019, the authorities have made it mandatory to pre-book tickets to catch a glimpse of this beauty. The authorities feel that this move will help cope with the number of visitors, along with helping smooth the flow.
In fact, overcrowding has become such a big menace at this museum that the security staff recently staged a walkout, leading to the closure of Louvre for a day. They believe that the cultural, solemn space is being reduced to the likes of Disneyland.
So, whether you’re heading to the city of love to pose with Lisa, or wish to soak in the artworks of the famed museum, make sure you book your time slot well in advance. After all, you wouldn’t want to wait for hours in a queue for your date with her, would you?