The Mona Lisa was the subject of attempted vandalism on Sunday when a visitor to the world-famous Louvre museum in Paris smeared frosting all over the Renaissance-era painting’s protective glass.
The man, who appeared to wear a wig on videos of the incident shared on social media, had the cake with him, according to CNN’s affiliate BFTMV.
A visitor to the Louvre smeared cake on the glass protecting the Mona Lisa.
Credit: @klevisl007 via Twitter/Reuters
The man, 36, was arrested and taken to a psychiatric infirmary in the police headquarters, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office. An investigation has been opened by the prosecutor for “the attempt of damaging a cultural property.”
In a video published by a museum-goer on Twitter, the man is heard saying in French “Think of planet Earth, there are people destroying it.”
One video of the scene shows a staff member cleaning the icing from the glass, while another shows security escorting the man away on foot, with rose petals scattered on the floor of the museum.
CNN has reached out to the Louvre for comment.
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, arguably the most famous painting in the world, draws millions of visitors each year who line up to pose with the small artwork, which is just over 2.5 feet tall and under 2 feet wide.
The enigmatic portrait is no stranger to both vandalism and thievery. It was stolen in 1911 by a Louvre employee, raising its international profile, and the bottom of the canvas suffered an acid attack in the 1950s, leading to its beefed-up protection — including the bulletproof glass. In 2009, a woman angrily threw a ceramic cup at the painting, breaking the cup but leaving the painting unharmed.
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Published for: WATPFC