There’s no doubt the Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world. It’s the most popular thing to see at the Louvre, the most popular museum in Paris, the most popular city (for tourism) in the world. So. It’s pretty popular.
It’s almost like this is what tourism now is – a fight. For what? For the photo. The perfect photo. The perfect selfie. Look – selfie doesn’t get the red line when I type it. It’s officially a real word!
So if you’re going in, you have to go in. These photos do not really show the truth of the struggle to get to the painting and get a snap. 100 people maybe standing with cameras in the air, pushing their way closer and closer to the front. Some who make it there spend a few minutes – which relatively is a long time – taking snaps trying to get their own face in the perfect pose with Mona Lisa smiling behind them. I wouldn’t be surprised if some actually remove or paint out their own eyelashes for that special snap.
Nevertheless. I was powerless to ignore the stampede and walk on. Instead, I braved the crowd and pushed my way in. I was a couple of people from the front to get the snap of the photo. Maybe 3 or 4. I had a decent lens so I didn’t need to be within five metres or whatever it was. Those with phones taking selfies I guess needed to be closer.
And then I left to walk the rest of the Louvre. As busy as some areas were, nothing matched the pandemonium of the room with the painting of Mona Lisa. I surmised that they should ban phones and cameras from the Louvre. I guess it’s nice to have a photo of the painting, and yet somehow, I feel so dirty…
May the Journey Never End!