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"Jocondomania" at the Louvre Museum

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"The Mona Lisa" exhibited in the Medici Gallery, Louvre, Paris, July 18. JEAN NICHOLAS GUILLO / THE PARISIAN / MAXPPP

"Keep moving forward, keep moving forward. AT" Along the way, in the corridors and stairs of the Louvre, leads to The Mona Lisa, the same injunction repeated: "We're moving forward! Ladies, we are moving forward! AT" How to circulate otherwise the 30,000 people who come here every day to admire in single file the most famous painting in the world. Admire ? Raring rather, given the furtive passage in front of the board (3 minutes, selfie included, after thirty tail); and to see would be the exact term, both the portrait (presumed) of Lisa Gherardini, the young wife of the Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo, painted at the beginning of the XVIe century by Leonardo da Vinci, has become a globalized icon. To the point of posing problem to the leaders of the museum.

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So, on July 17, while The Mona Lisa had been moved the day before â € "due to renovation of the State Hall â €" in the Medici gallery, a record attendance and procrastination in the organization have created bottlenecks forcing security to stop ticket sales. Scandal !, shouted the aficionados. How can we do otherwise? "One wonders, snaking in the middle of the hasty and joyous crowd that photographs everything that passes before his eyes.

"A question of flow"

 € œThis is not a question of quantity but of flowsays Vincent Pomarède, Deputy General Manager of the museum. It's unfortunate, but access to the museum is conditioned by the access to The Mona Lisa. And every time it is moved, it poses problems of organization. When she was in the Grand Gallery, she created a cap in the middle; when she was in the Rosa Room, at the end of the Grand Gallery, we came in and out the same door, it was terrible. And even in the State Hall, there was traffic jam … "Contrary to what was said, this is not the first time we have to close the entrance to the museum . This was the case last year or during the bridges of May. From the moment we reach peaks of 40,000 visitors a day and 80% want to see The Mona Lisa first, it's almost inevitable. And then, people have a short memory: when I was a child, the queue to enter the museum was twice around the square court. The last ones did not come in, and the people were not there. AT"