The Mona Lisa can stay at the Louvre, confirms the French Council of State

The Mona Lisa can stay at the Louvre, confirms the French Council of State
The Mona Lisa can stay at the Louvre, confirms the French Council of State

Lhe most famous painting in the world will be able to remain at the Louvre: unsurprisingly, the French Council of State on Tuesday dismissed an association which considered the decision of King Francis I to “appropriate” the Mona Lisa, the masterpiece, to be illicit. by Leonardo da Vinci, in 1519.

The approach of International Restitutions, a mysterious association whose head office and who its directors are is unknown, is “manifestly inadmissible”, considered the highest French administrative court, which consequently sentenced it to 3,000 euros in compensation. fine for “abusive” procedure.

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.

The administrative judges also considered that it was not up to them to look into the “decisions” – a term they enclosed in quotation marks – taken under the French monarchy.

International Restitutions claimed to act “on behalf of the descendants of the painter’s heirs”, and wanted that in the event of victory, the Mona Lisa would be “removed” from the inventory of the Parisian Louvre museum.

Similar requests from the association, for works less emblematic than the Mona Lisa, were never successful.

The Mona Lisa has been in France since 1516, the year when Leonardo da Vinci, who had fallen out of favor with the Medicis, 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). He had offered his works to the French sovereign who in exchange paid him a generous pension.

These works, which entered the royal collections, never left France again. The Mona Lisa has been at the Louvre since 1797… and is expected to stay there for a long time to come.

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