Can you put a price on a one-of-a kind nighttime tour of the Musee du Louvre, as you explore the famed museum by torchlight?
According to a recent auction, yes, you can – and it’s €38,000 ($46,500).
In a collaboration between auction house Christie’s, Paris’s Louvre and the Hotel Drouot, a number of one-off experiences and artworks went under the hammer last week.
The Bid for the Louvre sale, which was hosted online between December 1 and December 15, raised an impressive €2,365,000, when all lots were tallied.
Experiences included a chance to attend the annual inspection of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, alongside Jean-Luc Martinez, president-director of the Louvre, which went for €80,000.
A private concert in the museum’s Salle des Caryatides, which once served as a reception room to the kings of France, raised €42,000, while the chance to have your name on a newly planted tree and a restored bench in the Garden of the Tuileries went for €24,000.
A private tour of the Louvre with Martinez raised €38,000, while an opportunity to walk through the rooftops of the Louvre Palace in the company of French photographer and street artist JR sold for €42,000.
All the experiences are valid for two years, until December 2022.
When it came to the pieces that bidders could take home with them, Peinture, a work by French painter Pierre Soulages, was the biggest sale of the entire auction, selling for €1.4 million.
A bespoke Vacheron Constantin watch, which will be inspired by its new owner’s favourite work of art from the museum, raised €280,000, and La Rose du Louvre by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel sold for €90,000.
There were 23 lots sold in total, with registered bidders from 24 countries, Christie’s revealed.
“This is a testimony that the desire for the Louvre is now more than ever alive, that our patrons remain faithful to the call for solidarity and education, for a museum open to all, especially youth and families,” said Martinez, as the results of the auction were announced.
Proceeds from the auction will go towards the Louvre, namely its Studio, a space dedicated to artistic and cultural education. The venue, which is set to open in 2021, aims to make the museum accessible to everyone, including students and people of determination.