Cover Visitors at the Leonardo da Vinci virtual reality exhibit at the Louvre in Paris. France (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

500 years after his death, the artist’s extended collection of work is getting a new life

A highly anticipated exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s works opened on Thursday, at the Louvre in Paris with over 200,000 tickets having already been purchased. The exhibition, simply titled Leonardo da Vinci, will include 162 works, including 24 drawings loaned by the Royal Collection in Britain, and a handful of pieces on loan from the British Museum, the Vatican, and the Hermitage of Saint Petersburg.

Curiously, the Mona Lisa, which is already housed in the Louvre, will not be moved to the exhibition room. Instead, visitors will be able to get to know her vis-a-vis an impressive virtual-reality tour. The virtual-reality concept was designed to give visitors a more intimate encounter with the portrait of Mona Lisa, which receives over 30,000 visitors on any given day.

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The tour will be housed in a small gallery room near the main da Vinci exhibition, apart from where the physical painting of Mona Lisa is housed. The gallery will be equipped with 15 headset stations and will offer seven-minute tours that take participants through various da Vinci works, before zeroing in on Mona Lisa herself.

“She is seated, and spectators will be facing her like a conversation, face to face,” Dominique de Font-Réaulx, the Louvre’s director of mediation and cultural programming, told The Independent.

As for the rest of the exhibit? Guests will have a mere 30-minute time frame to admire the vast collection of Renaissance artworks, a concept that was implemented to help with overcrowding, according to Lonely Planet.

The Leonardo da Vinci exhibition will run from October 24 to February 24, 2020 at the Louvre in Paris. Tickets can be purchased on the Louvre Museum website.

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