A man disguised as an elderly woman in a wheelchair has thrown cake at the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting at the Louvre in Paris.
Images of the Mona Lisa painting stained with cake cream after the unidentified person stamped a cake on it went viral, despite the fact that the cake actually collided with the glass that protects Leonardo da Vinci’s work in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
According to witness testimony, the perpetrator was a man in a wheelchair who wore a wig. To the surprise of the other guests, he suddenly stood up and approached the painting and threw the cake at it. Those in charge of the museum’s security rushed to eject the man from the room, while the rest of those present continued to photograph the situation nonstop. Louvre security workers after rushing to remove the attacker from the building, quickly cleaned the glass to restore it to its former state.
The painting, which was created between 1503 and 1519 by Leonardo da Vinci, was unaffected because it was protected by safety glass. The piece, which was undamaged, was left with white cream smeared across its protective glass.
Louvre visitor, Luke Sundberg, from the US, who saw the whole moment unfold, said: “The crowd begun gasping and we looked up and some man in a wheelchair [dressed] as an old lady ran up to the painting and started punching it before smearing cake all over it”.
“It took about 10 to 15 seconds for the security to actually take the man away, but the crowd seemed to panic a little bit. It was jaw-dropping, it was a lot to take in considering how historic Mona Lisa is the moment was once in a million”.Luke Sundberg
The man, who threw the cake at the painting, was also seen throwing roses in the gallery, and shouting “Think of the Earth. There are people who are destroying the Earth. Think about it. Artists tell you: think of the Earth. That’s why I did this”.
A 36-year-old man was later detained and sent to a police psychiatric unit, the Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed, adding it had started an investigation into the damage of cultural artifacts.
Not the first attack on the painting
Attempts to deface, steal, or use the 77 by 53-centimeter canvas to raise awareness for various causes have been made throughout history.
A man threw sulfuric acid at it in the 1950s, which had an effect on the painting, and a Bolivian student hit it with a stone.
A woman in a wheelchair also tried to spray red paint on the painting while she was at an exhibition in Tokyo in 1974, expressing her dissatisfaction with the lack of access ramps.
A Russian tourist threw a cup of tea at the painting in the summer of 2009. The work was stolen over a century ago, in 1911, and went missing for nearly three years.
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