A purported climate change activist masquerading as a wheelchair-bound elderly lady allegedly tried to vandalize the Mona Lisa at the Louvre on Sunday before he was hustled out by security guards.
The wig-wearing man allegedly tried to break through the bullet-proof glass that protects the iconic painting and then threw a piece of cake or a custard pie at it shortly before closing time at the gallery.
Leonardo da Vinci’s 16th-century masterpiece is one of the most popular attractions at the world-famous Paris museum and is situated in its own room where crowds often assemble to view it and routinely take pictures.
Said one witness to the incident on Twitter: “Maybe this is just nuts to me but [a] man dressed as an old lady jumps out of a wheelchair and attempted to smash the bulletproof glass of the Mona Lisa. Then proceeds to smear cake on the glass, and throws roses everywhere all before being tackled by security.”
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
Fortunately, the priceless painting was apparently not defaced, and staff quickly cleaned the icing off of the glass, and things got back to normal at the popular tourist venue.
Someone smashed a cake on Mona Lisa… pic.twitter.com/4NpztMCJEG
— Klevis (@klevisl007) May 29, 2022
Another Twitter user filmed the moment that security subdued the purported activist after he also reportedly threw a bouquet of roses in the air, as alluded to above.
Oh my God! Mona Lisa!
Hopefully not too much damage! pic.twitter.com/mjugzDgc9B
— Anna (@AnnaART89333) May 30, 2022
As he was being removed from the premises, the man allegedly said in French that “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,” according to the Associated Press.
Per a Spanish-to-English translation, a social media user claimed that the protest was an attempt to raise awareness about the destruction of the planet.
As of this writing, there is no information as to whether he will face any charges in the incident. Louvre officials have yet to issue a public comment about what happened.
“Here is the moment when they take away the person who threw a cake at Mona Lisa,” the translation of the tweet below reads.
Aquí el momento en que se llevan a quien le aventó un pastel a la Monalisa.pic.twitter.com/HBayMOdcKV
— Alejandro Alemán (@elsalonrojo) May 29, 2022
The protective glass of the Mona Lisa painting at The Louvre was caked today by a man dressed up as an elderly woman in a wheelchair. pic.twitter.com/g8uaQZ1wPp
— Pop Base (@PopBase) May 29, 2022
“Attempts to deface, steal, or use the 77 by 53 centimeter canvas to raise awareness for various causes have been made throughout history,” the Marca website recalled.
“The painting was stolen in 1911 by a museum employee, an event which increased the painting’s international fame. It was also damaged in an acid attack perpetrated by a vandal in the 1950s, and has since been kept behind glass. In 2009, a Russian woman who was angry at not being able to get French citizenship threw a ceramic cup at it, smashing the cup but not harming the glass or the painting,” AP added.
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