A young man disguised as an old woman attacked the world’s most famous portrait on Sunday in Paris. The iconic Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci, was the target of an apparent climate-change motivated vandalism attack.
Social-media users captured video of the odd and futile attack.
The suspect, who was wearing a wig and lipstick, used a wheelchair in order to feign a disability to get closer to the exhibit.
“A visitor simulated a disability in order to use a wheelchair to approach the work, which was installed in a secure display case. The Louvre applied its usual procedures for people with reduced mobility, allowing them to admire this major work of art,” a statement from the Louvre said.
“While standing near the painting, this individual threw a pastry he had hidden in his personal belongings at the Mona Lisa’s glass case. This act had no effect on the painting, which was not damaged in any way.”
The vandal attempted to break the display case before proceeding to smear the glass protecting the artwork with a pastry of some kind. After smearing the glass that protects the painting, the vandal reportedly threw rose petals.
It’s not the first time that da Vinci’s 500-year-old masterpiece has been put in peril by vandals.
In a 1956 attack, someone threw acid at the painting, damaging it and prompting the Louvre to place it behind bulletproof glass. The Mona Lisa was once stolen in 1911 by an employee of the Louvre. The painting was recovered in 1914.
During a visit of the painting to Japan in the mid 1970s, a vandal attempted to spray red paint on it. Then, in 2009, a woman threw a ceramic cup at the painting. It was not harmed in either incident because of the protective glass.
A deranged climate activist appears to have been responsible for the latest attempted vandalism.
“Think of the planet, there are people who are destroying the planet, think about that,” the 36-year-old man shouted in French. “That’s why I did it.”
The vandal was taken to a psychiatric infirmary at the police headquarters in Paris.
Twitter user “Lukeee” noted a rather slow response to the vandalism.
“Maybe this is just nuts to me, but an [sic] man dressed as an old lady jumps out of a wheel chair and attempted to smash the bullet proof glass of the Mona Lisa. Then proceeds to smear cake on the glass, and throws roses everywhere all before being tackled by security,” the tweet read.
Nevertheless, the Louvre credited its staff for its quick action in protecting the art.
“The museum salutes the professionalism of its agents who reacted immediately during this incident. It also recalls that monitoring national collections is at the heart of their missions,” the museum told Fox News.
The attack itself echoes much of what the climate-change movement represents. Like the unnamed vandal, climate-change activists routinely attack something that has never hurt them — carbon dioxide. They attack with weapons (wind and solar) that will ultimately do nothing to harm their target. And in the end, despite their lamentations to the contrary, their attack is pointless.
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