PARIS (AP) – A man seemingly disguised as an old woman in a wheelchair threw a piece of cake into the glass that protects the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum and shouted at people to think about planet Earth.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said Monday that the 36-year-old man was detained after Sunday’s incident and sent to a police psychiatric ward. An investigation has been launched into the fact of damage to cultural artifacts.
A video posted on social media shows a young man in a wig and fondant arriving in a wheelchair. A man whose identity was unknown was also spotted throwing roses in the museum gallery to guests with relaxed jaws.
The attack of the cake left a noticeable white cream smear on the glass, but Leonardo da Vinci’s famous work was not damaged.
The guards were filmed escorting the man in the wig as he called out to astonished visitors to the gallery, “Think of the Earth! There are people who are destroying the Earth! Think about it. Artists say: think of the Earth. That’s why I did it. ”
The guards then filmed cleaning the cake from the glass. A statement from the Louvre confirmed an attack on a work of art involving “confectionery”.
The masterpiece of the 16th century Renaissance has seen much in more than 500 years of existence.
The painting was stolen in 1911 by museum staff, an event that raised the international fame of the painting. It was also damaged by an acid attack committed by vandals in the 1950s, and has since been kept behind glass.
In 2009, a Russian woman, angry that she could not obtain French citizenship, threw a ceramic cup into her, breaking the cup but not damaging the glass or painting.