Tourist Hell — Mona Lisa at The Louvre

mona-lisaAhhh, Paris. They say Paris is the Paris of France.

Obviously, the greatest art museum in the world should be on your itinerary on your first visit. You need a whole day at the Louvre to soak in all the tens of thousands of art works and artifacts. You have Raphael, Michelangelo and the rest of the Ninja Turtles alongside historical discoveries.

My guess is you want to see the Mona Lisa. You know, it’s what Tom Hanks stole in the Da Vinci Code, or something like that. The smart folks at the Louvre have little icons pointing you to the famed painting.

Before you know it, you’re standing in front of one of society’s greatest achievement … and a hundred tourists and their camera phones. #monalisa #paris #Louvre #blessed. My hashtag, #goeffyourself My bet is most of them are thinking, “It’s so small.”

The first time I went there, I distinctly remember the guards yelling at the visitors not to take photos and placards all over the place explaining that flash photography will damage the artwork. The second visit a few years later, I walked pass the room and it was like the red carpet at the Oscars. I guess they gave up.

I can’t even imagine what it’s like now in the social media selfie generation. So far, the museum has not banned selfie sticks, but it is under review.

Point being, tourists are ruining the experience of the Mona Lisa and the Louvre is helpless to stop it. The crowds are not respecting the painting, the Louvre and others’ appreciation.

It needs to be accessible to all, but doing something like timed entrances to limit the crowd will complicate the visit.

My solutions: tie people’s hands behind their backs or make the painting like Santa Claus, pay a huge fee, you have 3 seconds with it and someone takes your photo. You have one shot.

Or you can just be Jay-Z and Beyoncé, get your own private tour.


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