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Richard Liloia Comments on Mona Lisa Campaign, Italy Wants Piece Back

A campaign from Italian residents was recently presented to the French minister of culture requesting the return of the Mona Lisa to the Uffizi Museum in Florence. Painter and art aficionado Richard Liloia responds to request with uncertainty.


Seattle, WA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/21/2012 --Although art enthusiasts have argued over the presence of Mona Lisa’s “smile” for years, an article from The Daily Mail reveals that a new debate over the famous painting questions whether France or Italy is the rightful owner of the artwork. The article notes that the Leonardo Da Vinci painting is often regarded as “the most famous work of art in the world” and has attracted viewers from all over the globe to see the painting in person at its home in the Louvre in Paris, France. However, the article states that more than 150,000 Italians have signed a campaign to have the painting returned to its “home city” in Florence to be displayed at the Uffizi Museum. Although the petition was presented to the French minister of culture, it is reported that the Louvre has already “snubbed the committee” responsible for the campaign. As an art enthusiast and avid painter, Richard Liloia of Seattle comments on this recent development.

“It is so strange that an object painted in the 16th century is still creating such tension in the art world. However, this incident shows just how powerful a painting can be—it has impacted culture far beyond art and has two countries discussing rightful ownership,” explains Richard Liloia. Silvano Vincenti, President of Italy’s National Committee for Historical, Cultural and Environmental Heritage explains that the group organized the petition because the return of the Mona Lisa would be of “high historical value, both symbolic and moral.”

The article, however, notes that the ownership of the painting is not at all too clear, based on the Mona Lisa’s historical travels. According to the article, the Mona Lisa is believed by many historians to have been created initially in Florence, but taken with Da Vinci as he moved to France. Although the French Royal family acquired it, the painting was stolen in 1911, found two years later and temporarily displayed at the Uffizi Museum until it was moved to its “permanent” home at the Louvre.

Despite the arguments made by Italians, Richard Liloia believes that regardless of where the painting belongs, it is now forever bonded to the Louvre. He concludes, “People associate the Louvre with the Mona Lisa and the Mona Lisa with the Louvre. Although the Louvre houses so many precious works of art, it would never be the same without the painting. For that reason, I think Italians should remain proud of Da Vinci, and the French should remain proud of the Mona Lisa. The painting has received appreciation from all over the world, but at this point it is so internationally-recognized that any cultural heritage is almost removed from it.”

About Richard Liloia
Richard Liloia currently resides in Seattle, Wash. working primarily as a dietician and nutritional expert. In addition, Richard Liloia is an avid painter who enjoys creating works of art in a variety of styles. As an artist, Liloia has a comprehensive understanding of art history and enjoys participating in charitable art events, fostering creative education and engaging in dialogue with fellow colleagues in the artistic community.