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As the COVID-19 pandemic brings the world to a halt and keeps tourists at bay, Paris’ iconic Louvre Museum is all determined to recover the financial losses incurred during the lockdown. In an attempt to plug a gaping hole in its finances, the Louvre is auctioning time spent close-up with the Mona Lisa, in addition to a walk along the museum’s rooftop.
The one with the highest bid will get an opportunity to witness the annual examination of the coveted artwork, which otherwise can only be glimpsed over the heads of hordes of tourists.
In addition to Lenardo Da Vinci’s masterwork, there are nearly two dozen lots that are going under the hammer. This includes Pierre Soulages’ oil canvas painting that dates back to 1962, held in the artist’s private collection and a bespoke timepiece by watch-maker Vacheron Constantin.
The highest bidder will also get a chance to walk along the rooftop of the museum with French street artist JR.
There are only a few world leaders who have witnessed the examination of the world’s most famous painting. Every year, the artwork is taken down from the wall and removed from its glass case for a fleeting check.
Due to the two lockdowns, the Louvre Museum has been closed for more than five months this year. According to Le Touher, the state is providing 46 million euros to bolster the museum’s coffers. Proceeds from the auction will be directed towards financing the new studio, which is due to open in autumn next year.
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