The ‘Mona Lisa’ Was Vandalised by Cake, but Why?

Cake smeared on the glass covering the Mona Lisa painting.

The painting survived the protester’s smear campaign. (Image: via Facebook)

Some famous artworks draw admiration from millions of viewers, and the iconic painting of the Mona Lisa is undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous. Crafted by the legendary painter and sculptor Leonardo da Vinci, the iconic artwork is kept at the Louvre museum in Paris.

Sadly, a vandalism attack took place that targeted the priceless painting. However, the painting was unaffected, and a cake was smeared only on the protective glass. Nevertheless, the incident surprised the viewers, and netizens who have come across the incident online have expressed their shock. 

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Smeared by cake

Nobody could anticipate the attack on the Mona Lisa. But instead, a man disguised as an older woman in a wheelchair suddenly jumped up and charged the painting. He then punched and smeared the protective glass case with cake and asked the viewers to think of the planet. The guards at the museum quickly apprehended him and took the 30-year-old man away. The museum staff later cleaned the glass covering the painting.

A young visitor named Luke Sundberg said: “The crowd began 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 over it. The security took about 10 to 15 seconds to take the man away, but the crowd seemed to panic slightly. It was jaw-dropping; it was a lot to take in considering how historic Mona Lisa is… the moment was once in a million.”

The Louvre is known as the largest museum in the world.
The Louvre is known as the largest museum in the world. (Image: Digikhmer via Dreamstime)

A bizarre attack

Onlookers were shocked when the man punched the glass cover and followed it by smearing a cake. However, a few of them managed to record the incident on video. The statement made by the attacker may seem bizarre. He said: “There are people who are destroying the Earth … All artists think about the Earth. That’s why I did this. Think of the planet.” He made the statement in French, though. It was found that he managed to sneak in a pastry inside his clothing.

The Louvre in Paris is known as the largest museum in the world, and it is home to several other artworks that are also very famous. These include the Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault and Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix. However, there is no denying that Da Vinci’s painting is the most famous. It is not a large painting, however, measuring just 2′ 6″ by 1′ 9″.

About the ‘Mona Lisa’

The Mona Lisa is considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance. It has been 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.” The painting’s novel qualities include the subject’s enigmatic expression, the monumentality of the composition, the subtle modeling of forms, and atmospheric illusionism.

The painting has been definitively identified to depict Italian noblewoman Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. It is painted in oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel. Leonardo never gave the painting to the Giocondo family, and later it is believed he left it in his will to his favored apprentice Salaì.

It is believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506; however, Leonardo may have continued working on it as late as 1517. It was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic. It has been on permanent display at the Louvre since 1797.

The Mona Lisa is one of the most valuable paintings in the world. It holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known painting insurance valuation in history at US$100 million in 1962 (equivalent to US$870 million in today’s dollars).

The ‘Mona Lisa’ is not a large painting, measuring just 2′ 6″ by 1′ 9″. (Image: Daria Yakovleva via Dreamstime)

The painting of the Mona Lisa has been subject to various artistic interpretations. Critics have said different things about the smile, meaning, and gaze. Created in 1507, the painting has survived previous theft and vandalism attempts. It was stolen by three Italian handymen in 1911, but it was recovered.

In 1956, the painting survived an acid attack. Then the Louvre management installed the safety cover glass. The museum management, however, has not said if any restrictions will be imposed on viewers after the latest incident. 

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