Cake on the Mona Lisa

One of the world’s most beloved paintings was struck on Sunday when a man smeared a white cream cake, in protest of climate change


Danielle Evans, Staff Writer

On Sunday, May 29th— a 36-year-old man disguised himself as an elderly lady in a wheelchair, accessed the spot right in front of the painting which was reserved for the handicapped. When suddenly he stood up and smeared cake over the glass case that protects the precious painting. 

Luckily, the 16th century art piece by Leonardo da Vinci was not destroyed. After its history of being vandalized, today, it is protected behind bulletproof glass in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Left: Social media quickly spread with videos posted by tourists who were in the gallery at the time

As security guards sprang on him, the man, who was wearing a wig and makeup, had thrown red roses at the guards feet.

According to visitors, the man had told the crowd, in French: “Think about the Earth. There are people who are destroying the Earth. Think about it … all artists, think about the Earth — this is why I did this. Think about the planet.”

The 36-year-old man was arrested after the incident on Sunday and taken to a police psychiatric ward for evaluation, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office. Damage to cultural items has been the subject of an investigation.

There have been many other famous art pieces that have been vandalized or twisted in order to spread awareness to Climate Change. The artist infamous Banksy has recently (2021) hijacked a 1890 painting of Mount Rainier, as well as the beloved oil painting ‘Show Me The Monet’ (2005). Banksy shines a light on society’s disregard for the environment in favor of the wasteful excesses of consumerism. 

The Mona Lisa has been through many threats throughout history, including in 1956, when the Mona Lisa was on display at Montauban, France. In which a vandal threw acid at the painting, damaging the lower part of the masterpiece. After that, a protective and bulletproof glass had been put up in order to prevent damage for future causes. Later the same year, someone had also tried to razor blade the painting, and further, a Bolivian man named Hugo Unjaga Villegas threw a rock at the iconic piece of art. The renaissance painting had once again been attempted to be vandalized in Tokyo with red spray paint (1974), a teacup (2009) and now in 2022 with a delicious cream cake.