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Excellent article in the Guardian on the Mona Lisa and the hype surrounding it. An excerpt:

Waiting to see the Mona Lisa has all the thrill of standing in an airport check-in queue. The crowd pushes forward, cattle-like and unquestioning, performing a ritual they know they have to go through with in order to complete a pre-ordained tourist experience. ... Caged in a box of bullet-proof glass, the picture looks unimpressive under the harsh institutional lighting. Winking dots of red and orange reflected camera eyes dance across the canvas and every few seconds the Mona Lisa's face is obscured by another flash.


While I am at it, here’s another article which promises to be good stuff. Yeah, I haven’t read it yet. ;-)