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Mona Lisa’s Newest Secret: Looking Lovely Under LED Lights

Visitors take photos of the “Mona Lisa” at the Louvre museum in Paris
Visitors take photos of the “Mona Lisa” at the Louvre museum in ParisPhotograph by Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

As governments around the world ban old-style incandescent bulbs, many people fret that high-tech lighting will bathe their surroundings in ghoulish blue. Some have even taken to hoarding old bulbs. Relax, folks: Even the Mona Lisa is now lit by light-emitting-diode spotlights—and she looks as luminous as ever.

The Louvre offered journalists a first peek today at the Da Vinci masterpiece illuminated by newly installed LED technology. It’s part of a multiyear contract with Toshiba Lighting & Technology, which started outfitting the world’s largest museum with LED lights in 2010. At the Louvre, curators spent months with Toshiba technicians to find lighting with an optimal blend of intensity and color to showcase its most famous work. As for those dreaded cold-blue tones? The lighting was adjusted to minimize them.