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Mona Lisa on the Move

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The Louvre Museum in Paris on Tuesday revealed plans for a new, $3.6 million private gallery that will house Leonardo da Vinci’s classic oil, Mona Lisa, finally giving the enigmatic figure in the portrait something to smile about. After all, since 1798 she’s been stuck in cramped quarters having to share exhibition space with other works of art (albeit those by Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese). The 16th century masterpiece’s new 2,152-square-foot home will be ready in 2003, in a revamped Salle des Etats surrounded by skylights and state-of-the-art acoustics, all financed by Japan’s Nippon Television, reports the Associated Press. In describing Mona Lisa’s current environment, Louvre curator Jean-Pierre Cuzin compared the space to a noisy, crowded train station.