How a ‘da Vinci’ is packaged for travel

How da vinci is packaged for travel

Moving your favourite piece of artwork or that rare and expensive artwork find can be a scary prospect due to the risk of damage. Some would just wrap it in layers of newspaper and others may utilise trusty bubblewrap before encasing the piece in cardboard for extra protection.

Now imagine the effort in coordinating the packaging and transportation of some of the most famous and expensive paintings in history by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci or Vincent van Gogh.

In April 2005 ‘The Mona Lisa’ moved to its refurbished home in The Louvre Museum in Paris. Moving the most famous painting in history just several meters inside The Louvre came at a cost £3.2 million.

Another of Leonardo da Vinci’s artworks that has had its fair share of global moves is ‘The Lady with the Ermine’. In 2003 the painting was loaned to the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco. The task of moving it from Warsaw, Poland was accomplished by a company that specialises in art transport, Rock-It Cargo.

‘The Lady with the Ermine’ was placed in a custom made, heat-treated wooden box. This box was then placed inside a metal container which included a homing device so that the painting could be traced if lost or stolen. The painting was transported via air with an entourage of two armed couriers. It was positioned in first class in its very own seat, with the couriers sitting on each side. More armed guards were ready and waiting at San Francisco airport. They were attached to an unmarked van that transported the painting to the Legion of Honor Museum.

On arrival at the museum, the painting was placed inside a climate-controlled glass casing and a 1 metre boundary was laid down around the painting. You’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty impressive accomplishment to move a historical painting around the world safely!

At Signet we haven’t gotten to climate controlled cases or armed guards, but when it comes to packaging and protecting your items, we’ve got you covered. Click here to view our wide range of protective packaging items including bubble wrap, recycled paper, foam packaging or air cushion options.


Rock-It Cargo. 2014. Available at:

Forbes. 2006. Moving ‘Mona Lisa’. Available at:

Encyclopedia. 2007. International Directory of Company Histories, Rock-It Cargo USA, Inc. Available at:

Predella. 2011. Saving the past to the future. Available at:

About Stephwilkin

Steph Wilkin is based in Brisbane and working for Signet Australia as a Digital Marketing Coordinator.
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