Editor’s Note: Susan Broomhall is a professor of history at the University of Western Australia and Charles Green is a professor of contemporary art at the University of Melbourne. CNN is showcasing the work of The Conversation, a collaboration between journalists and academics to provide news analysis and commentary. The content is produced solely by The Conversation.

CNN  — 

Every day, thousands of people from around the world crowd into a stark, beige room at Paris’s Louvre Museum to view its single mounted artwork, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.”

To do so, they walk straight past countless masterpieces of the European Renaissance. So why does the “Mona Lisa” seem so special?

The mystery of her identity

The story told by