A man disguised as an old lady attempted to vandalize the Mona Lisa.
On Sunday, the 36-year-old man entered the Louvre in a wheelchair to get up close to Leonardo da Vinci's famed masterpiece. According to one witness who shared a video of the incident to Twitter, the man initially tried to break the bulletproof glass protecting the painting before smearing cake and throwing rose petals around the room.
Maybe this is just nuts to me💀but an man dressed as an old lady jumps out of a wheel chair and attempted to smash the bullet proof glass of the Mona Lisa. Then proceeds to smear cake on the glass, and throws roses everywhere all before being tackled by security. 😂??? pic.twitter.com/OFXdx9eWcM— Lukeee🧃 (@lukeXC2002) May 29, 2022
In a second video clip uploaded by the same witness, the vandal can be seen dressed in a baseball cap, black wig and pink scarf while being escorted away by museum security guards. The man, who is seemingly a climate activist, is also heard shouting something in French, which another Twitter user translated as "there are people trying to destroy the planet."
"Think of the Earth," he apparently goes on to say. "Just think about it."
"There are people trying to destroy the planet. Think of the Earth, just think about it."— Blanca Escobar (@BlancaEscobar) May 29, 2022
CNN reported the man was taken into custody and placed in a psychiatric infirmary at police headquarters, per the Paris prosecutor's office. He is currently being investigated for his "attempt of damaging a cultural property" on the heels of the Louvre filing a formal complaint.
A representative for the Louvre later told the New York Times the man was able to get close thanks to the museum's typical procedure for people with limited mobility. The spokeperson also said the Mona Lisa was unharmed in the incident.
Granted, this isn't the first time someone has tried to vandalize the prominent painting. In 1956, she was also hit twice: once by a man who threw a stone at her and again by another person in an acid attack that damaged part of the painting. Most recently, a woman threw a ceramic cup at the piece in 2009, though the artwork remained untouched. The Mona Lisa was also stolen in 1911 by a museum handyman, who is speculated to have been "in love" with her.
Photo via Getty / Francois Guillot / AFP