The iconic Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci, hung at the Louvre in Paris, came under attack recently as a man disguised as an old woman in a wheelchair threw a cake at the portrait. However, the painting was unaffected due to the protective glass encasing the artwork.
According to Spanish newspaper Marca, witness testimony revealed that the perpetrator was a man in a wheelchair who wore a big wig. Much to everyone’s astonishment, he suddenly stood up and attempted to smash the bulletproof glass of the Mona Lisa, and then smeared cake on the glass itself.
Soon after the incident, the museum‘s security staff rushed to eject the man from the room even as the crowd continued to photograph the situation.
As the viral videos suggest, the museum workers were seen removing the attacker and cleaning the tarnished glass.
Mona Lisa, a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, is considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance. Described as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world”, it is housed in the Louvre’s largest room, the Salle des États, which is also home to other remarkable Venetian paintings such as The Wedding Feast at Cana by Veronese.
Over the years, several attempts have been made to steal or destroy the painting. In 1911, it was stolen from the museum by an employee, and in 1956, Bolivian Ugo Ungaza Villegas threw a rock at the Mona Lisa while it was on display. These incidents were followed by several others in the coming years. It attracts lakhs of visitors every year due to the subject’s mysterious identity, her enigmatic expression and unmatchable art techniques used by the painter.