Man Smears Cake on Famed Mona Lisa Painting as Part of Climate Protest (REPORT)
Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is one of the most recognizable works of art of all time. It was also the scene of a bizarre form of protest while on display at the Louvre Museum this week.
A man reportedly hopped the protective barriers that keeps viewers back from the historic masterpiece and smeared it with cake. A witness told NBC News that the attacker disguised himself by wearing a wig and sitting in a wheelchair before hopping into action.
“All of a sudden the guy jumped from the wheelchair and, with a red rose between his lips, he climbed the fences and attacked the Mona Lisa with a cake,” Sergio Migliaccio told the outlet.
It appears the shocking stunt was a form of protest. The suspect was reportedly heard demanding people to "think of the Earth" as he was escorted away from the scene of the crime.
“There are people who are destroying the Earth," he said, according to NBC. "Think about it. Artists tell you: think of the Earth. That’s why I did this.”
Of course, the painting itself was unharmed as it is protected by a thick sheet of glass.
A Twitter user uploaded footage of a museum employee cleaning up the aftermath. Despite the fact that the artwork was dirty, there was still a massive queue of museum attendees gathered in front of it.
Check out the footage below:
The Guardian notes the man who pulled off the attack was reportedly held in psychiatric care. He has not been identified by name, and the museum does not appear to have commented on the act of protest.
Mona Lisa has been on display in the Louvre since 1804, according to Smithsonian magazine.
People have attempted to deface it in the past, and it has been behind glass since 1956. Its defense system has been updated at least once, according to The Guardian.
Interestingly, this isn't the first time the iconic work of art has generated unexpected media attention this year.
A painter named Domingo Zapata, who boasts celebrity clients including Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp, made headlines after he spoke about what he described as a sexual bond with the painting.
"I have been working with Mona Lisa for 15 years," he told The U.S. Sun. "When I was painting her so much, I would dream, and I have a sexual relationship with her."