A man posing as a wheelchair-bound elderly woman crashed a cake into one of the most famous paintings in the world, the Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci at The Louvre Museum.
The masterpiece, which the vandalism had not damaged, was smeared with white cream all over its glass. The culprit, wearing a wig and lipstick, encouraged people to “think of our Earth” as he was captured from the scene.
Louvre guests were left speechless when they witnessed the “jaw-dropping” incident on Sunday. A guest from America, Luke Sundberg, was there.
“The crowd began 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,” said the 20-year-old visitor in an interview with PA news network.
“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,” he added. “It was jaw-dropping, it was a lot to take in considering how historic Mona Lisa is… the moment was once in a million.”
The man, who was seen throwing roses in the gallery, was escorted out by security.
“Think of the Earth,” he said. “There are people who are destroying the Earth. Think about it. Artists tell you: think of the Earth. That’s why I did this.”
The 36-year-old activist was detained and sent to a psychiatric unit by French authorities, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office, on Monday. In addition, it had started a probe into the incident and looked into the damage to cultural artifacts.
Thankfully, the Renaissance painting was installed in glass and safeguarded in the 1950s after an acid attack.
A footage from Sundberg revealed onlookers clapping after the cream was entirely removed from the glass.
“What were the odds this would happen?” asked another museum guest, 26-year-old Klevis, from Albania.