The strangest thing happened at the Louvre Museum in Paris on Sunday May 29. A climate activist dressed as a disabled woman in a wheelchair attempted to smash the bulletproof protective glass of the museum’s most prized painting, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and when he failed, cake spread everywhere.
The 36-year-old man, who was wearing lipstick and a wig, was immediately arrested and placed in psychiatric care, the museum told Hyperallergic. No damage was done to the paint.
Videos of the incident posted on social media show the activist being escorted out of the museum as he proclaims, “There are people destroying the Earth… All artists, think of the Earth. That’s why I did this. Think about the planet.
Other videos circulating online show museum staff cleaning the cake’s white icing from the glass. The activist also threw roses on the ground, according to eyewitnesses.
In a statement to Hyperallergic, the Louvre confirmed it had filed a complaint against the vandal, whose name has not been released. The Paris prosecutor’s office said it had opened an investigation for attempted vandalism of a cultural work.
“The pastry shop did not touch any part of the painting, which was not damaged in any way,” a Louvre spokesperson told Hyperallergic. “The museum salutes the professionalism of its security officers who reacted immediately to this incident. It also reminds the public that the care of national collections is at the heart of its mission.