July 10, 2020
Why is the Mona Lisa worth so much?
Guinness World Records lists Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa as having the highest ever insurance value for a painting. On permanent display at the Louvre in Paris, the Mona Lisa was assessed at $100 million on December 14, 1962. Taking inflation into account, the 1962 value would be around $850 million in 2019.
Okay, so... this raises the question:
Why is the Mona Lisa worth so much money?
- Is it because the canvas and paint and brushes that DaVinci used were incredibly expensive?
- Is it because Leonardo’s hourly rate was a million dollars an hour and it took him 850 hours to paint it?
- Is it because it’s an original painting not a reproduction and therefore it is scarce?
No, no, and no.
The Mona Lisa is valued at $850,000,000 because it is arguably the most famous painting in the world.
Why is it the most famous painting in the world?
Because in August 1911 it was stolen by a former employee of the Louvre who, convinced that the painting belonged to Italy and should not remain in France, decided to steal it.
Newspapers worldwide picked up the story of the art heist and the ensuing search and ran with it for years, making the Mona Lisa the most famous painting of its day - and probably of all time.
Which raises another question:
Why might it be so valuable to someone to own such a famous painting?
Because owning the Mona Lisa would add your name to the story of the Mona Lisa.
It’s a story that probably started before you were born and will probably continue after you’re gone.
To a select few, $850,000,000 would be a small price to pay to be remembered forever.
Here’s the thing...
When it comes to creating value, intangibles matter. Your story matters. Being famous, even if only in a small niche, matters.
What are you doing to work toward this?