Request to Bring Mona Lisa to Italy Is Denied

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 04:24

An attempt to bring the Mona Lisa back to Italy, even if just temporarily, has failed.

French Minister of Culture Aurelie Filippetti has denied the request put forth by Silvano Vinceti, president of the Italian Committee for Culture and Heritage, to temporarily bring Leonardo’s Mona Lisa to Florence. The idea was to do a special exhibition to celebrate 100 years since the painting's recovery in 1913, following a theft from the Louvre in 1911.

Vinceti has made public the response letter written by Director General of World Heritage Vincent Berjot, the intermediary for French minister Filippetti.

"We understand your desire to facilitate access to the masterpieces of humanity to the greatest possible number of people," writes Berjot. "Unfortunately, we cannot give a favorable answer to your request. As you yourself outlined, the loan of this distinguished masterpiece would pose many technical difficulties. Moreover, this painting is inextricably linked to the image and international reputation of the Louvre, which each year welcomes more than 8 million visitors from France and the entire world, who would not accept that the Mona Lisa is not on display at the museum."

The Mona Lisa therefore is to remain in Paris.

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