A man posing as an elderly woman in a wheelchair has smashed a cake at the Mona Lisa, a painting by the famous artist Leonardo da Vinci at the Louvre in Paris.
The masterpiece, which was not damaged, was smeared with white cream all over its glass. The culprit, spotted wearing a wig and lipstick, encouraged people to “think of the Earth” while being captured from the scene.
Witnesses referred to Sunday’s happening as a “jaw-dropping” incident. Louvre guest Luke Sundberg, from the US, witnessed all that had happened.
“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.”
According to the Paris prosecutor’s office on Monday, a 36-year-old activist was detained and dispatched to a police psychiatric unit, further stating that it had begun a probe into the damage of cultural artifacts.
Thankfully, the Renaissance painting was installed in glass in the 1950s to safeguard it following 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.