Activist Hurls Cake at Mona Lisa

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A 36-year-old climate control activist masqueraded as a wheelchair-bound elderly woman as he entered the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, on May 29, 2022. As a form of protest, the man hurled a piece of cake at Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

The activist was wearing a black wig and makeup as he was pushed into the museum. Suddenly, the man jumped to his feet in front of the masterpiece and attempted to destroy the protective covering. When that mission failed, he threw the white frosted slice of cake at the Mona Lisa. Witnesses stated the cake smeared the white icing onto the protective covering.

Mona Lisa
Courtesy of Christi (Flickr CC0)

Videos of the incident quickly went viral. In one video a person is seen wiping the white frosting off of the glass in front of the Mona Lisa.

The Mona Lisa perpetrator then sprinkled rose petals onto the floor before security guards were able to knock him down.

Another witness recorded the protestor as he was being escorted out of the building. The guy stopped and said something before security guards ushered him to continue walking. In French, the protestor stated, “Think about the Earth. There are people destroying the Earth… All artists think about the Earth. That’s why I did it. Think about the planet.”

Investigators are currently looking into the man’s motives behind his attack on the Mona Lisa. They are also trying to figure out how he was able to smuggle the slice of cake into the building.

The man was detained before being escorted to a police psychiatric unit, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office. They added they have started an investigation into the damage to cultural artifacts.

This is not the first attack on the Mona Lisa. In 1956, the lower portion of the masterpiece was severely damaged after a vandal doused it with acid. To protect the painting from further attacks they placed it behind bulletproof glass.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

NDTV: Man Disguised As Elderly Woman Smears Mona Lisa Portrait With Cake
The Sydney Morning Herald: Mona Lisa smeared with cake by man ‘dressed as old lady in wheelchair’

Top and Featured Image by Thomas Ricker Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Christi’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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