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This article shows the hidden role the Louvre played in the cultural battles of WWI. The evacuation of the collections toward the provinces provoked the contemporary imagination. The French press used the image of an empty Louvre to fuel anti-German propaganda. In Toulouse, the Mona Lisa and the treasures of the Louvre were the objects of political maneuvering. After the Armistice, the Louvre showcased highly publicized exhibits featuring recuperated artwork. The reinstallation of artworks was the subject of much debate around the centrality of foreign schools versus the revalorization of the French tradition from the Romantics to the Realists.