PARIS (AP) — In an incident at the Louvre Museum, a man dressed as an elderly woman hurled a piece of cake at the glass protecting the Mona Lisa and shouted at people to think of our planet as they did so.
Social media videos have appeared to show a young man in a wig and lipstick who had arrived in a wheelchair wearing a wig at the festival. In addition to throwing roses in the museum gallery on Sunday, the man, whose identity is unclear, was also seen throwing coins in the museum lobby.
Despite the cake coming in contact with the glass, there was a distinctly visible white smear on it but the famous masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci was unharmed.
A security guard was seen escorting the wig-wearing activist away from the gallery as he called out to the visitors in the gallery: “Think of the Earth.” The guards were filmed escorting the activist away from the venue. The Earth is being destroyed by a group of people. Just think about it for a moment. That’s what the artists are trying to get you to think about. I did this because I wanted to get you thinking.”
It was then filmed as the guards cleaned the glass of the cream smeared on it. Louvre officials were not immediately responding to questions or comments.
There have been previous attempts to target the Renaissance masterpiece from the 16th century.
An employee of the museum stole the painting in 1911, which increased the painting’s fame among international art collectors.
A vandal attacked it in the 1950s, and it was also damaged by acid. Since then it has remained behind glass to avoid further damage.
An angry Russian woman in 2009 threw a ceramic cup at the painting in protest of not being able to acquire French citizenship. Although the cup blew apart, the painting and the glass were not damaged.