The iconic Mona Lisa painting was the victim of a not-so-sweet surprise at the Louvre Museum on Sunday when a man disguised as an elderly woman threw a piece of cake at the glass enclosure protecting the priceless artwork.
The man, who is seen in several social media videos capturing the incident, arrived at the museum in a wheelchair, black wig and lipstick. His identity is unknown.
From the throngs of eager onlookers in the gallery, the man threw the dessert at the Leonardo da Vinci painting, leaving a creamy, white smear on the glass.
As the perpetrator was filmed being escorted from the museum by security, he told the gallery of his environmentalist motive. “Think of the Earth. There are people who are destroying the Earth,” he shouted. “Think about it. Artists tell you: think of the Earth. That’s why I did this.”
Security was then filmed wiping cream from the Mona Lisa’s protective glass. The 16th-century artwork was unharmed.
According to The Associated Press, the man was also seen throwing roses in the museum gallery.
The Louvre Museum has yet to make a public statement about the incident.
This is not the first time Mona Lisa has been the victim of an attack.
In 1911, the painting was stolen by a museum employee and Italian nationalist who executed the heist by hiding in a broom closet until the Louvre Museum closed. The thief carried the painting off the premises, hidden in his coat.
In the 1950s, the Mona Lisa painting was the victim of an acid attack. The painting was partially damaged and has remained behind glass ever since.
Again in 2009, a woman threw a teacup at the painting, though it hit the glass and the artwork was unharmed.