A protester who tried to vandalize Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa with a cake managed to approach the painting by posing as a wheelchair user dressed as an older woman.
In videos posted to social media that captured the aftermath, an individual can be seen being escorted out of the building dressed in white, with a wig and baseball cap, and an empty wheelchair.
“Think of the Earth. There are people who are destroying the Earth. Think of them!” the man told passers-by in French, suggesting the stunt was motivated by climate activism. “Artists should think about the Earth! All artists think of the Earth. That’s why I did it.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson for the museum confirmed the incident happened on Sunday after the museum implemented what it calls its “standard procedures” for people with disabilities.
As they believed the assailant had impaired mobility, he was allowed to approach the artwork.
According to reports in Reuters, the alleged climate activist jumped out of the wheelchair and tried to smash the glass protecting the famous painting.
After the failed attempt, he then smeared cake on the painting’s covering and allegedly threw roses on the floor before being grabbed by security guards.
“This individual threw on the window of the Mona Lisa, a pastry that he had hidden in his personal effects”, indicates the press release, which also specifies that the painting itself suffered no damage..