Art lovers around the world collectively held their breath after Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa painting was smeared with cake.
On Sunday, a 36-year-old man entered the Louvre Museum in Paris in a wheelchair, disguised as an old woman wearing a wig and lipstick.
According to Twitter user Lukeee – who was at the museum when the bizarre incident occurred – ‘the old lady’ jumped out of the wheelchair and tried to smash the bulletproof glass protecting the famous painting.
‘She’ then smeared cake on the glass and scattered red roses everywhere before security intervened.
WATCH: Mona Lisa smeared with cake
While being escorted from the museum with his wheelchair, the man told onlookers: “Think about earth, the planet, some people are just destroying the planet, think about this, every artist cares about the planet, this is why I did that.”
As reported by AFP, an inquiry into “an attempt to vandalise a cultural work” has been opened. The 36-year-old man was arrested and placed in psychiatric care.
According to reports, the attack on the Mona Lisa was part of a climate protest.
While officials at the Louvre Museum in Paris declined to comment on the bizarre incident, art lovers will be relieved to know that the priceless work wasn’t damaged.
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This isn’t the first time the Mona Lisa has been the target of vandals.
According to AFP, the famous painting has been behind glass since a Bolivian man threw a rock at it in December 1956, damaging her left elbow.
In 2005, it was placed in a reinforced case which also controls temperature and humidity.
In 2009, a Russian woman threw an empty teacup at the painting, which slightly scratched the case.