Mona Lisa painting smeared with cake in Louvre
Calling on artists to think about Earth, a man in a woman's wig jumps out of a wheelchair and smears the Mona Lisa with cake.
The Mona Lisa - yes, da Vinci's renowned masterpiece - was smeared with cake at the weekend by a man in a woman's wig who jumped out of a wheelchair and said artists should focus more on the planet.
Officials at the Louvre Museum in Paris, where the portrait is placed, declined to comment on Monday on the incident, which was captured on several phones and posted on social media on Sunday.
The treasured piece by Leonardo da Vinci, which has been the target of vandalism attempts in the past, was unharmed thanks to its protective bulletproof glass case.
A Twitter user, identified as 'Lukeee', posted a video showing a museum employee wiping the smeared cake off the glass.
Maybe this is just nuts to me💀but an man dressed as an old lady jumps out of a wheel chair and attempted to smash the bullet proof glass of the Mona Lisa. Then proceeds to smear cake on the glass, and throws roses everywhere all before being tackled by security. 😂??? pic.twitter.com/OFXdx9eWcM— Lukeee🧃 (@lukeXC2002) May 29, 2022
Speaking French, the man said: "There are people who are destroying the Earth... All artists, think about the Earth. That's why I did this. Think of the planet."
Can anybody translate what ole dude was saying as they where escorting him out?😂 pic.twitter.com/Uy2taZ4ZMm— Lukeee🧃 (@lukeXC2002) May 29, 2022
A target of vandalism attempts in the past
The Mona Lisa - one of the world's most famous and expensive paintings - has been behind glass since a Bolivian man threw a rock at the painting in December 1956. In the same year, the painting's lower part was severely damaged after a vandal soaked it with sulphuric acid.
When the Mona Lisa was displayed in the Tokyo National Museum in 1974, a disabled woman who was upset by the museum’s inaccessibility attempted to spray the painting.
In 2005, it was placed in a reinforced case that also controls temperature and humidity. In 2009, a Russian woman threw an empty teacup at the painting, which slightly scratched the case.
The most famous Mona Lisa-related incident happened in 1911 when Italian handyman Vincenzo Peruggia stole the painting from the Louvre. Originally hired by the museum to make protective glass cases for famous artwork, Peruggia hid in a closet at the museum and stole the Mona Lisa overnight.
After two years, Peruggia was arrested and sentenced to seven months in jail.