First it was van Gogh, then it was Monet. Now, it’s Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa that will have its own immersive installation. An experience themed around the iconic painting is headed to the Palais de la Bourse in Marseille, France.
The immersive installation is co-organized by the Louvre and Grand Palais Immersif, a new initiative by the Grand Palais. The show will open on March 10 and acts as a test run for the Grand Palais Immersif team, which is preparing to unveil a new immersive exhibition space following extensive renovations. The Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais (RMN), which runs the Grand Palais, told the Art Newspaper in January that the Immersif project has “the ambition to become a key player in the emerging digital exhibition market,” a cut of which the Louvre would apparently like to share.
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The immersive show will have six components covering different themes, according to a Grand Palais blog post: the iconic status of the portrait, the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa and how it was found, the influence of the Mona Lisa on other works, the technique that Leonardo employed to make the famous painting, and a component on the life of the artist himself.
Tickets for the Mona Lisa experience will cost about $17, which is about how much it costs to go to the Louvre to see the actual painting in person. Still, it’s a bargain compared to the van Gogh immersive experience, where adult tickets go for $36 dollars each. The van Gogh experience has made millions of dollars during its run in North American cities.
Roei Amit, the director of Grand Palais Immersif told the Art Newspaper, that the Mona Lisa show will encompass “sensorial environment, narrative projections, and many interactive experiences.”
This is not the first time the RMN has organized a digital exhibition. The 2016 show “Eternal Sites” at the Grand Palais reconstructed UNESCO World Heritage sites that had been damaged by ISIS in Syria and Iraq. And in 2020, “Pompeii” offered a digital recreation of the ancient city. More immersive exhibitions are to come, including one focused on the work of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha organized in collaboration with his foundation.