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See the ‘Mona Lisa’ outside its display case: auction offers one-off experiences and objects

Watch the Mona Lisa at close quarters – and without the crowds – at the painting’s annual examination. Walk through the rooftops of the Louvre Palace in the company of French photographer and street artist JR. Or design a customised Louis Vuitton trunk with custom-made fragrance bottles within.

An online auction, from December 1 to 15, will offer experiences that “money can’t buy in normal times”. The Bid for the Louvre sale will be held on the Christie’s website, and is a collaboration among the auction house, the Musee du Louvre and the Hotel Drouot. While most of the experiences and objets d’art are centred on the Paris museum, participants can bid for the Three Louvres, a journey to all three musems in the Louvre universe, in Paris, Lens and Abu Dhabi.

All the experiences are valid for two years, until December 2022.

The sale also includes artworks donated by painters, sculptors and photographers, as well as fashion items from luxury maisons.

Proceeds from the auction will go towards the Louvre Museum Studio, a space dedicated to artistic and cultural education, which will open in 2021 with an aim to make the museum accessible to everyone, including students and people of determination.

Here are some of the lots on this digital auction block.

Experiences for auction

  • Joconde Mania: join Jean-Luc Martinez, president and director of Musee du Louvre, for the annual examination of the Mona Lisa.
  • Magical Night By Torch Light: discover the Louvre Museum by night.
  • Hidden Treasures of the Drawing Cabinet: discover the jewels in the museum’s drawing room.
  • Concert of Kings: attend a concert at Caryatids Hall, former reception hall of French royalty, especially given in your honour.
  • Arc of the Carrousel: enjoy a romantic evening for two on the roof of Paris’s famed Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.
  • Roofs of the Louvre: follow street artist JR on his adventure on the rooftops of the Louvre Museum.
  • Discover the Louvre with its President: Jean-Luc Martinez, a specialist in Greek statuary, promises a behind-the-scenes experience.
  • Garden of the Tuileries: Associate your name with a newly planted tree and restored bench in Tuileries Garden, as part of a project to regain its former splendour.
  • The Three Louvres: a visit to all the Louvre museums, in Paris, Lens and Abu Dhabi.
  • Gourmandise du Louvre au Ritz Paris: a private tour of the Louvre on the theme of the art and food, followed by a pastry class and meeting with chef François Perret, and ending with a night at the Ritz, Paris.

Artworks for auction

  • Glory – Napoli II, donated by Flemish sculptor Johan Creten
  • Musée du Louvre Paris XXII by German photographer Candida Hofer
  • Forêt by French visual artist Eva Jospin.
  • La Rose du Louvre by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel.
  • Peinture by French painter Pierre Soulages.
  • Le mobile n° by French artist Xavier Veilhan.

High fashion for auction

  • Cartier: a Panthere bracelet alongside a visit to Apollo Gallery, which houses the crown jewels of France, and a visit to the workshops of the House of Cartier.
  • Dior: a trunk with your initials and containing a miniature haute couture dress by Dior’s head designer Maria Grazia Chiuri, or a personalised fragrance created by François Demachy, master perfumer of the house.
  • Louis Vuitton: a handcrafted trunk customised with a design of your choice and containing custom-made fragrance bottles.
  • Off-White: a bag created by Virgil Abloh, plus a seat at the next fashion show by his popular label Off-White.
  • Vacheron Constantin: design Les Cabinotiers, a bespoke watch inspired by your favourite work of art from the museum and a visit to the world’s oldest watchmaking factory.