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Lonely Mona Lisa
News Bytes 02/23/2021 95 Comments

It’s uncertain when Paris’ Louvre Museum will reopen. It closed October 30, 2020, because of the French government’s virus containment measures. Those who are allowed in receive a rare private look at collections covering thousands of years of human history—with plenty of space to breathe.

Space is normally sorely lacking at the world’s most-visited museum. Before the pandemic, staff walked out. They claimed they couldn’t handle the overcrowding, with up to 30,000-40,000 visitors per day. In some ways, the Louvre has been hurt by its own success.

The Mona Lisa’s celebrated smile is 518 years old. She stares out through bulletproof glass into a silent hall in the Louvre. A bit further on, the white marble Venus de Milo stands alone. She is completely free from picture-snapping visitors. These artistic treasures have seen many things, but they’ve rarely observed this: almost four months with no visitors.

The forced closure has granted museum officials a golden opportunity to carry out long-overdue restorations that were simply not possible with nearly 10 million annual visitors.

Unlike during the first lockdown, which brought all Louvre activities to a halt, the second has kept 250 museum staff members fully employed with restorative operations.

An army of curators, restorers, and workers are cleaning sculptures, reordering artifacts, checking inventories, reorganizing entrances, and conducting restorations, including in the Egyptian Wing. The Grande Galerie, the museum’s largest hall, is being fully renovated.

“We’re taking advantage of the museum’s closure to carry out a number of major works, speed up maintenance operations, and start repair works that are difficult to schedule when the museum is operating normally,” says Laurent le Guedart, the Louvre’s Architectural Heritage and Gardens Director.

Restorers stand atop scaffolds to take scientific probes of the walls in preparation for a planned restoration. The probes will travel back to the 18th century through layer after layer of paint.

Around the corner, carpenters take up floorboards to run cables for a new security system.

Previously, these jobs could be done only on a Tuesday. That’s the day the Louvre is closed. Now hammers are tapping, machines drilling, and brushes scrubbing to a full-week schedule. They are slowed down only slightly by social distancing measures.

In total, 10 large-scale projects that had been on hold since last March are under way—and progressing quickly. These include works in the Etruscan and Italian Halls and the gilded Salon Carre. A major restoration of the ancient Egyptian chapel of the tomb of Akhethotep from 2,400 B.C. is also underway.

“When the museum reopens, everything will be perfect for its visitors—this Sleeping Beauty will have had the time to powder her nose,” says Elisabeth Antoine-Konig, Artifacts Department Curator. “Visitors will be happy to see again these now well-lit rooms with polished floors and remodeled display cases.”

Initially, only visitors with pre-booked reservations will be granted entry in line with virus safety measures. Those who don’t want to wait may still view the Louvre’s art treasure trove in virtual tours online.

(Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa hangs on the wall in a deserted Louvre museum in Paris, France, on Thursday, February 11, 2021. AP/Thibault Camus)

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Most recent comments


Ok cool! Yeah I saw that! Can you speak some German?
@Bethy: Neat. I am taking Latin but am getting so frustrated that I am hoping to drop it at then end of this year. But I like the German!

@Riley D

I understand that Latin might be hard, but if you keep at it, it make Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese so much easier! What curriculum are you using for Latin?

Mona Lisa

Uhh....not impressed. i think he could have made it better


Thanks for the encouragement, although I am not planning to learn those languages, you never know what might come up. It is interesting though how many of our English words are based and sound almost like those! I am using Cambridge Latin.

@Riley D

Ja ich can speak some German but most of it I learned on Duolingo nicht much learned from my Oma . Ich used German throughout if you want a translation to Englisch then just ask

We could start a world teen

We could start a world teen club for learning German on Duolingo

Oh right they took the clubs

Oh right they took the clubs out but there is still the leader bored and friending

@ Franz R

:) Not sure how though...

@Bethy S/ Riley D

you just download Duolingo on your mobile device (not sure about computer)then log in or sign up and choose your language and the language you want to learn (mine is German)then go to your profile /friend thing and search for techfranz (I have a picture of an orange tractor)

by the way if you noticed I am commenting more then usual its because I am lonely because my sister is going to Ohio she left today

Actually it’s not a tractor

Actually it’s not a tractor it’s a drone

i use Duolingo but my mom had

i use Duolingo but my mom had me turn off the follower setting, bc she thought it wasn't right

@ Franz R

I have duolingo, but am not sure if I can follow.

I lived in Germany for a

I lived in Germany for a couple of years. Sadly, I was very little.


Is your sister going to college in Ohio? I want to go in Franklin, TN. I have a couple years before I have to decide, though. I want to be a speech therapist. What do y'all want to be when you grow up?

I’m learning German too. Ich

I’m learning German too. Ich heiße Mirela und I ich bin dreizehn jahre alt. Ich wohne in England. Ich mag schokolade!

@ Addie

Oh no! Careers have been a painful choice! I cannot choose! I don’t know what I’m good at, I don’t know what I enjoy. I don’t know! It’s so hard - I guess I’ll just have to wait till I’m older. Although actually I am interested in Politics.... I think the idea of being a Member of Parliament (MP) here in the UK is great. It’s something I’ll be considering.

In relation to my above comment

So everybody here! Attention! When your older, check who the MPs in the UK are and see if I’m there!

Haha!! I'm praying about

Haha!! I'm praying about going to JSBC (jimmy Swaggart Bible college) to go into the music ministry (regarding piano) :)


I want to go into nursing and maybe take that into the missionary field

I'm actually reading a

I'm actually reading a fictional book about the mona lisa right now. Time Castaway: The Mona Lisa Key by Leisl Shurtliff. It's the first book in the series Time Castaways

@ Addie

I don't really want to go to college, but if I have to I want to learn equestrian because when I grow up, I plan on owning a Christian horse summer camp and in the winter, it'll be a boarding school. (I'm still deciding about the boarding school)

@ Riley D

I'm learning Latin too! Me and my older sister like to have conversations in Latin to help us learn it better. Did you know Latin is actually one of the easiest languages to learn? It is the mother of five languages. I can't remember which languages though. :)


Mirela- I will keep my eyes open for you in about 20 years or so! XD
Nadia- I used to want to go into music ministry, but I changed my mind. I've wanted to be pretty much everything you can think of! XP (Minus a Member of Parliament. I haven't ever considered that...)
Amelia- I have a couple of friends who are considering nursing, one I think has the same motives as you.
Isabel- That's cool! I always wanted to learn to ride, but I haven't gotten the chance yet! I think the five languages are Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian. (I say "think", but I actually just looked it up. XP) I started learning French on Duolingo, but I want to start it with an actual curriculum. My sister and I are using "Latin Alive!" for latin in school. I like it and I've tried several curricula for latin.
Desarose- I forgot to respond to your comment earlier. I would just like to remind you how little had been discovered in art technic and stuff. Also, the style of the time was probably different than now. I honestly don't really understand what's so great about Mona Lisa either, but whatever. To each his own, as the saying goes. XD

@ Addie

Haha! I'm the opposite xPP

@ Addie L

No just because my aunt was going to my cousins. my sister still has a while to go before college ;)

@ Addie L

I can't remember what we're using for Latin, but it's starts out really easy and gets harder as it goes. My eight year old brother (Miles) is learning Latin with a really simple curriculum.

What I want to be...

I want to go to a private Christian Collage. But before that, I want to publish some books. I want to be an author and an actress. Few Christians are in the acting field and I want to be Christ-like figure to help further the Kingdom of God. I also want to be an actress now, but.....we'll see how that goes XD! If you ever hear of someone named E. S. Jensen, that'll be me!
Mirela: Wouldn't be funny if we both end up being famous in the future and we see pictures of ourselves and then meet? :)
It would be fun to if any of us got famous and think to ourselves, "And to think I commented with them all those years ago on WORLDteen!".

@ Above

Haha!!! LOL That would be funny xDD

@ Mirela J

Ja Schokolade ist super!

This is London

I don’t exactly know what I want to be when I am older. I will probably be a teacher but I am horrible at math lol idk I also want to be on the mission field. We will see what God has for me.

@ Bethy S

Yes, and when you become queen, I can tell all my kids I used to talk via commenting with you!

This is London

Bethy s lol I will be looking for y’all’s names

I'm not sure what career I

I'm not sure what career I want to choose. Maybe a professor. I'm interested in the anatomy of the human body.

@ Bethy

My dream is to go to a Christian College in the States too but I know it will definitely be very expensive and I don't know how it's going to happen but I hope it does :-) About the acting - have you heard of the Kendrick brothers? They are a Christian film making company. The films they have made are great! I'll look out for you in years to come! Yes that would be funny and very interesting to see if we accomplished what we said we would like!

Mirela Johnson

Yeah so if you see the name Mirela Johnson anywhere just remember me and find out if it really is me (prob is cause I don’t think there are that many English Mirela Johnson’s in the world!) and contact me! Thanks!


Mirela: I will be! Yes I have heard of the Kendrick brothers, and watched quite a few of their films.
Isabel: Oh for sure! And you can feel very high-up and fancy! :)
London: Thanks.

Random comment here

I’m just commenting to see if anyone sees this lol.
@ Bethy Okey dokey! (Idk why I just said that)

.. *hums* I'm bored. .

.. *hums* I'm bored. .
@ Bethy sorry, I know your away for a few days

i'm still here...............

i'm still here..............................eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek a ghost! Help! Just kidding. I'm just time spending

This. Is. Devastating.

This. Is. Devastating.

This is the worst thing that

This is the worst thing that’s happened to me!

Dun-dun-dun—dum-dum-dum- bruh

Dun-dun-dun—dum-dum-dum- bruh why is nobody here?



2 weeks later... still no

2 weeks later... still no company...


This is the last time I'm going to comment on this article. Goodbye everyone! Have a lovely day! From Mirela


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