That December, Mona Lisa, securely fastened in her temperature-controlled, custom-built container, boarded a French ocean liner and set sail—a crossing that was supposed to remain secret. However, when word got out that the painting was onboard, passengers threw Mona Lisa-themed parties and the ship’s chefs created culinary concoctions in her honor. When the ship docked in New York, Mona Lisa was loaded into an armored vehicle and travelled to Washington, D.C., with an armed guard. For several weeks, the painting waited in a security vault while final preparations were made for the exhibition, scheduled to open on January 8, 1963.
Read more about the Mona Lisa’s interesting time in the U.S.
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