“…the Louvre is being held hostage by the Kim Kardashian of 16th-century Italian portraiture: the handsome but only moderately interesting Lisa Gherardini, better known (after her husband) as La Gioconda, whose renown so eclipses her importance that no one can even remember how she got famous in the first place.”
The Mona Lisa was indeed disappointing when we went to the Louvre last year. It was so crowded that my wife decided to not wade in. I took my daughter in, protecting her head with my elbows against the throngs of phone camera-wielding tourists. We did get to the front and see the painting, and…it was fine.
I think you might make a substantial improvement to the experience by banning photography. As one who loves photography, I hate to say that, but let’s face it: these people’s photos are going to be terrible, other than as an “I was here” marker. That’s not nothing, but it’s not worth the pain added to visiting the Mona Lisa.