She was has been a media darling. Most of her reputation is a result of her idolization in popular literature and, of course, that unfortunate kidnapping incident. Her safe return was a relief to the world and served to increase her popularity to the point that some can't understand.
She has been an enigmatic beauty, an object of men's desire and of women's envy but has seldom been fully understood. Through it all she smiles and perseveres.
There have been rumors, of course, but few have been proven. She was rumored to be the paramour of a famous artist. Some thought she was the darling of one of the richest men in the world while others have advanced the outrageous theory that she was born a man.
Despite all of this she remains a beauty and an icon, a woman about whom songs are written and movies made. She has remained untouchable and, ultimately, unknowable. And now she has taken center stage again in a great controversy, a place where she seems implacable. While the cares of the world swirl around her she sits calmly and smiles.
Mona Lisa, we adore you. Happy 500th Birthday.