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Wednesday, 9 January, 2002, 13:28 GMT
Moustachioued Lisa leaves Paris
Royal Academy
The Royal Academy is hosting the exhibition
An image of Mona Lisa with a moustache painted by Dadaist artist Marcel Duchamp is to go on display outside Paris for the first time.

The painting has been hanging in pride of place on a wall of the French Communist Party offices in Paris, but is to be displayed in London.

Communist Party President Robert Hue said he had turned down many requests to loan out the picture to various exhibitions around the world.

But after negotiations with the British ambassador in Paris, the portrait is on its way to the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
Duchamp's painting is an exact replica of the Mona Lisa, with a moustache
It will form part of its Paris: Arts Capital 1900-1968 exhibition, which opens on 26 January.

Duchamp painted the picture in 1919 as an exact replica of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa but with a small moustache added in.

It is titled LHOOQ, which when said quickly in French is said to sound like "she is hot in the derriere".

The artist, who died in 1968, was a founder member of the Dadaist Society of Independent Artists, which intended to ridicule the established concept of art.

He is credited with inventing "ready-made" art - everyday objects which he claimed ownership of and displayed as artwork.

Robert Hue
Communist Party President Robert Hue plans to visit the exhibition
His most famous work, Fountain, was actually just a urinal.

Towards the end of his life he recreated some of the works to go on display as reproductions.

An exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Museum, respected the artist's wishes by only allowing the public to view the works through a peephole.

Other artists included in the forthcoming exhibition at the Royal Academy include Matisse, Leger, Picasso, Miro and Dali.

See also:

25 Oct 01 | Arts
Royal Academy goes to Paris
04 Feb 99 | e-cyclopedia
Neurotic realism: Come again?
06 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Mona Lisa to move home
06 Jul 98 | Europe
Painting stolen from Louvre
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