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'Mona Lisa' aging causes concern

April 27, 2004|From Associated Press

The "Mona Lisa," Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece of a mysterious woman with a slight smile, is deteriorating quickly, the Louvre Museum in Paris said Monday, announcing that an in-depth technical study was being conducted to determine why.

The thin, poplar wood panel on which the artwork is painted has become deformed since conservation experts last evaluated the condition of the painting, the Louvre said. The artwork is inspected every one to two years.

The Louvre said the condition of the "Mona Lisa" was causing "some worry" and that a new study has been launched, but one that will allow the painting to remain in the public eye. The study, to be conducted by the Center for Research and Restoration of Museums of France, is to better determine what materials the painting is made of and evaluate its vulnerability to climate changes.

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