The world’s most famous work of art, the Mona Lisa, had its protective glass smeared with icing from a cake on Sunday, by a man disguised as an elderly woman.
The man, who was wearing lipstick and a wig, was seen by witnesses at the Louvre in Paris jumping out of a wheelchair, and apparently attempting to smash the glass protection.
Bystanders reported seeing the man smear cake on the glass and throw roses before being restrained by security personnel.
Footage of the incident was posted on social media over the weekend, showing security guards at the Louvre escorting the man away. His motivation is believed to have been environmentally related.
According to The Associated Press, the man shouted in French, “Think of the Earth! There are people who are destroying the Earth! Think about it. Artists tell you: think of the Earth. That’s why I did this!”
Another video has since surfaced, showing a museum guard cleaning remnants of the cake off the glass protecting of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous work.
The Italian Renaissance painting, dating back to 1503, is believed to have been undamaged.
The 36-year-old offender was later sent to a psychiatric unit.
One visitor spoke to UK Metro about the incident.
“The crowd begin gasping and we looked up and some man in a wheelchair [dressed] as an old lady ran up to the painting and started punching it before smearing cake all over it,” the American tourist, Luke Sundberg, said.
“It took about 10 to 15 seconds for the security to actually take the man away, but the crowd seemed to panic a little bit.”
“It was jaw-dropping, it was a lot to take in considering how historic Mona Lisa is… the moment was once in a million.”
Officials at the Louvre have not made any public comments.