Is a Piece of Art More Important Than a Human Life?


The importance of art has long been debated. Although some people value art more than others, I think everyone can agree that the Mona Lisa, by Leonardo Da Vinci, is truly a priceless masterpiece. Over the years this painting has become the symbol of humanity itself. This image reflects the characteristics of a living human. Because there is no monetary price for the Mona Lisa, it is hard to compare its value to other things.

Imagine being in the Louvre at closing time. You and an old woman are the only two people lingering to stare at the Mona Lisa. All of a sudden a fire breaks out. It is spreading fast and you quickly realize that the fire department will not be able to put it out before it destroys the Mona Lisa. As you go to grab the painting you also notice the old woman struggling to walk through the smoke and flames towards the exit. You must then make a decision, save the painting or save the old woman. This is not just a question of whether this single woman is more important than the Mona Lisa, but it is the question, is a human life more important than a priceless work of art?

I believe that the old woman is the one who should be saved. Although the Mona Lisa is a true masterpiece, I believe no work of art should be valued more than human life. Many people who have seen the Mona Lisa say that she looks as if she were flesh and blood; however, we know that the Mona Lisa is only paint on canvas. This old woman, whoever she may be is alive. The Mona Lisa is priceless because no amount of money could buy her, but human life is truly invaluable, because life has endless possibilities. Humans are the most intelligent beings on earth. Together we can do anything. No matter what age a person may be, they can still do amazing things. Human life is the most precious thing on earth. This woman could do amazing things with her life like Da Vinci did with his. Imagine if Da Vinci were the one at the museum, caught in the fire, and someone chose to save the painting over him. He would never be able to make any more masterpieces.

If there was a fire in the museum with the Mona Lisa, I would hope that the painting would be in a case to protect it from damage, so that the fire department could worry about saving lives. Human life is precious, and above all it should be protected.


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