Mona Lisa getting bent

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The thin, poplar panel on which the Mona Lisa is painted in oil has changed shape since conservation experts last evaluated it, the Louvre Museum said. Leonardo’s masterwork – now nearly 500 years old – is inspected every one to two years.

The Louvre said the “state of conservation” of the most famous artwork in France’s most famous museum “has aroused some worry”.

Some seasoned visitors say they have noticed changes.

“We lived in Paris in 1962 and 1963 – she seemed brighter back then,” said Enid Kushner, 74, a retired lawyer from Cleveland, Ohio.

The painting has yellowed from layers of varnish applied over the centuries, but the Louvre has resisted pressure to touch it up. The last real work on the Mona Lisa dates to the mid 1950s, when experts removed several age spots.