A man disguised as an old woman throws cake at Mona Lisa

Published: June 1, 2022
Updated: June 1, 2022
Mona Lisa painting
A lady impersonator throws cake towards Mona Lisa.

Mona Lisa is the most renowned painting in the world, dating from 1503 and produced by Leonardo da Vinci.

A man dressed as an old woman in a wheelchair threw a cake at Leonardo da Vinci’s framed artwork, the Mona Lisa, on display at the Louvre in Paris.

The sculpture was left with white cream spread across its protective glass, which was unbroken.

While being carried away from the scene, the culprit, who was wearing a wig and lipstick, begged people to “think of the Earth.”

Witnesses characterized the incident that occurred on Sunday as “jaw-dropping.”

Perhaps it’s just me, but a man costumed as an elderly lady leaps from his wheelchair and attempts to destroy the Mona Lisa’s bulletproof glass. Before being tackled by security, he proceeds to smear cake over the glass and scatter roses everywhere.

Luke Sundberg, a Louvre tourist from the United States, witnessed the whole thing happen. “We looked up and saw a man in a wheelchair [dressed] as an old lady running up to the picture and pounding it before putting cake all over it,” the 20-year-old told the PA news agency.

“It took the security around 10 to 15 seconds to actually pull the man away, but the audience seemed to panic a little.”

A lady impersonator throws cake towards Mona Lisa.

Mona Lisa

“It was jaw-dropping, and given how historic Mona Lisa is, it was a lot to take in… the moment was one in a million.”

Security pulled the protester out of the exhibition, where he was also spotted throwing roses. He declared, “Think of the Earth.”

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“There are those who are wreaking havoc on the planet. Consider that for a moment. Think of the Earth, say the artists. That’s why I went ahead and did it.”

The Paris prosecutor’s office stated on Monday that a 36-year-old man was arrested and taken to a police psychiatric unit and that an inquiry into cultural artifact damage had begun.

In the 1950s, glass was put over the Renaissance painting to safeguard it from an acid assault.

Onlookers erupted in applause as the cream was removed from the glass, according to a video taken by Mr. Sundberg.

Klevis, a 26-year-old Albanian museum visitor, wondered aloud, “What were the chances this would happen?”

The Mona Lisa, an Italian Renaissance half-length portrait painting by Leonardo da Vinci, is regarded as an archetypal masterpiece. It is housed in the Louvre’s largest room, the Salle des États, which also houses other notable Venetian paintings such as Veronese’s The Wedding Feast at Cana. It is described as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world.”

Several attempts to steal or destroy the picture have been tried over the years. An employee stole it from the museum in 1911, and Bolivian Ugo Ungaza Villegas threw a rock at it while it was on display in 1956. 

In the years that followed, several more occurrences occurred. The subject’s hidden identity, her intriguing expression, and the painter’s unmatched painting methods draw thousands of visitors each year.

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