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The 518-year-old Mona Lisa has seen much of her life on the wall, but rarely: almost four months without visitors to the Louvre.

Paris-518-year-old Mona Lisa has seen many things in her life on the wall, but rarely: almost four months without visitors to the Louvre.

As she gazes through the bulletproof glass between the quiet Mona Lisa, her famous smile, once the most visited museum in the world, means relief. A little further, Venus de Milo in white marble was released from the girdle of the photographer.

It is uncertain when the Paris Museum, which was closed on October 30, will be reopened due to the French government’s virus containment measures. But fortunately, you can benefit from the unusual private look of a collection that covers 9,000 years of human history-there’s plenty of space to breathe.

It is usually terribly lacking in museums that are plagued by their own success. Prior to the pandemic, staff went out complaining that up to 30,000-40,000 visitors per day could not cope with the overcrowding.

The forced closure also provided museum staff with a great opportunity to carry out long-term renovations that were not possible with nearly 10 million visitors annually.

Unlike the first blockade, which shut down all Louvre museums, the second blockade keeps about 250 museum employees fully functional.

An army of curators, restorers, and workers is cleaning sculptures, sorting relics, checking inventory, reorganizing entrances, and repairing. This includes the Egyptian wings and the Grande Gallery, the museum’s largest hall, which has been completely renovated.

“We take advantage of the museum’s closure to perform many major tasks, speed up maintenance tasks, and start repair tasks that are difficult to schedule when the museum is operating normally. “I will,” Laurent Le Gedart, director of the Louvre’s architectural heritage and gardens, told AP from within the Grande Gallery.

As Le Gedart said, the restorer did a scientific survey of the walls in preparation for the planned restoration, stood on the scaffolding, passing through layers of paint one after another and back in the 18th century. It was.

Around the corner, I heard a faint sound of a carpenter picking up the floorboard. They were putting cables in for the new security system.

Previously, these tasks could only be done on Tuesdays. This is the only holiday of the Louvre Museum. Currently, the hammer does tapping, drilling machines, and scrubbrushing on a weekly schedule, but it slows down slightly by means of social distance.

A total of 10 large-scale projects that have been put on hold since March last year are underway and are progressing rapidly.

This includes works at Etruria Hall, Italy Hall and the Golden Salon Carre. A large-scale restoration of the ancient Egyptian tomb chapel of Aketotep from 2400 BC is also underway.

“When the museum reopens, everything will be perfect for the visitor. This sleeping beauty would have had time to dust her nose,” said Elizabeth Antoine König, curator of the relics department. Said. “Visitors can revisit the now bright room, with polished floors and a modified display case.”

Initially, only pre-booked visitors are admitted according to virus safety measures.

If you can’t wait, you can see the Louvre’s treasure trove of art on an online virtual tour.

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Adamson reported from Leeds, England

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Follow all AP pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine, https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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