Fort Smith Regional Art Museum Opens Doors

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After several years, the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum is opening its doors. Their first exhibit, the 25 Secrets of Mona Lisa, finally on display.

"I am just so excited," said Lee Ortega, the executive director of the museum. "I just can't wait to open these doors to the public. It's been three years since the donation of the Arvest building to the Art Center."

For the museum's grand opening, French engineer Pascal Cotte who discovered the 25 Secrets of the Mona Lisa is in Fort Smith.

"I get the privilege to digitize the Mona Lisa," said Cotte. "Invited by the Louvre in October of 2004. So I digitized using a very special camera I invented called the multi-spectral picture camera."

Cotte scanned the Mona Lisa to reveal the original image, as she appeared to da Vinci at the time she was painted.

"It was because of his hard work and his dedication to this scientific process that we were able to know what the Mona Lisa looked like the day she was created," explained Ortega.

"Once we have identified the pigment we were able to convert it to the original color used at the time," said Cotte. "Over here the sky is blue. And over there the sky is green."

To see the other revelations found, Ortega says you'll just have to come to the art museum and see the exhibit for yourself. It will be on display until March 17th. A second portion of the exhibit, featuring local high school artwork interpretations of the Mona Lisa, will be unveiled on Feb. 14.

The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum is open Thursday through Sunday. Admission is $8, with special prices for children and groups.

For more information about the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum, CLICK HERE.