“Nobody has eaten the mona lisa and we feel jeff bezos needs to take a stand and make this happen,” the joke petition that went up a year ago and gained hundreds of signers Thursday reads.
“gobble da lisa,” one signer wrote while another joked, “I feel like this is something society needs… Jeff, we need you to make this sacrifice for society.”
The Mona Lisa is owned by the French government and is on permanent display at the Louvre in Paris.
Bezos, who is one of the richest men in the world and became the first man to top $200 billion in net worth this year, seems to have no immediate plans to ingest art but is planning an 11-minute trip to space on his company Blue Origin’s first crewed flight scheduled for July 20.
The highest bid this week to join Bezos on the short fight is $2.8 million, according to CNBC. The bidding reportedly ended Thursday.
Other extravagant purchases Bezos has made over the years include a 418-foot yacht for $500 million, he turned four luxury New York City apartments into a 23,000 square-foot penthouse for around $96 million after his divorce and he invests $1 billion a year into Blue Origin, The New York Post reported.
Over the years, the idea of selling the Mona Lisa to dig France out of debt has popped up occasionally, including French tech CEO Stephane Distinguin who said last year the government could sell it for a whopping EUR50 billion (about $60.9 billion) to help the country through the pandemic.
An art expert with artnet.com, however, in an op-ed last year rebutted Distinguin’s argument, claiming he had hugely overestimated the painting’s value if it were to go up for auction, noting that other da Vinci pieces have sold more comfortably in the hundreds of millions.
The columnist agreed that the Mona Lisa is undoubtedly worth more than da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, which sold recently for $450 million, just maybe not 111 times as much.
The Change.org petition had at least 448 signatures by early Friday morning.
A petition on Change.org urging billionaire Jeff Bezos to buy Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and eat it has gotten hundreds of signatures.