According to the Louvre museum, 80 percent of 10 million people who visit the famed Paris art museum come to see the Mona Lisa. "[A]nd most of them leave unhappy," writes Jason Farago, art critic for The New York Times. He recently went to the Louvre and described the dreadful experience:
[Y]ou must line up in a hideous, T.S.A.-style snake of retractable barriers that ends about 12 feet from the Leonardo — which, for a painting that’s just two and a half feet tall, is too far for looking and way too far for a good selfie.
Apparently the painting is beneath some nifty new nonreflective glass, but at this distance how could I tell? My fellow visitors and I could hardly see the thing, and we were shunted off in less than a minute. All this for a painting that (as the Louvre’s current show confirms) is hardly Leonardo’s most interesting, and that has drowned out the Venetian masterpieces in the Salle des États, such as Titian’s “Woman With a Mirror,” or Veronese’s “Wedding at Cana,” which Beyoncé was smart enough not to neglect. The museum is admitting as much with the pathetic new signs in the Salle des États: “The Mona Lisa is surrounded by other masterpieces — take a look around the room.”