“The Mona Lisa” can smile peacefully, she will stay at the Louvre, the Council of State has decided

“The Mona Lisa” can smile peacefully, she will stay at the Louvre, the Council of State has decided
“The Mona Lisa” can smile peacefully, she will stay at the Louvre, the Council of State has decided

The suspense was not very thick. The Council of State, unsurprisingly, rejected on Tuesday an association which considered the decision of King Francis I to “appropriate” to be illicit. The Mona Lisa, the masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci, in 1519. The approach of International Restitutions, a mysterious association whose location is unknown and who its leaders are, is “manifestly inadmissible”, ruled the highest court French administrative authorities, which consequently sentenced her to a fine of 3,000 euros for “abusive” procedure.

The Mona Lisa has been at the Louvre since 1797

The association claims to act to obtain the restitution of property forming part of the public domain to their “legitimate owners”. But for the Council of State, only the latter would be justified, “if applicable”, in taking legal action. Similar requests from the association, for less emblematic works than The Mona Lisa, never came to fruition. At the end of 2022, she asked to cancel “the inclusion in the inventory of the Chinese museum of the Château de Fontainebleau of all the objects resulting from the sacking of the Summer Palace in Beijing” by French troops in 1860. But the Council of State had rejected it, already considering that it did not have “the standing to act”.

The Mona Lisa has been in France since 1516, the year when Leonardo da Vinci, who had fallen out of favor with the Medici, came to place himself under the protection of Francis I. In his luggage, he had taken some of his paintings including the portrait of Mona Lisa (painted between 1503 and 1506). These works, which entered the royal collections, never left France again. The Mona Lisa has been at the Louvre since 1797 and is not about to leave.

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