crowd takes photos with phones as Mona Lisa painting is smeared with cake frosting
twitter | @lukeXC2002

Man In Disguise Smears Cake On Mona Lisa In Supposed Climate Change Protest

A man subjected the Mona Lisa to a bizarre cake attack after disguising himself as an older woman with a wheelchair in a stunt apparently intended as a climate change protest.

It's easy to forget but most of the classic pieces of art that we can admire today have only survived as long as they have thanks to the careful and painstaking work of art restorers.

Because not only do time and the elements have their own subtly destructive influences on old and famous paintings, but we can also find that other people will damage them from time to time.

And sure, this mostly happens because a gallery's visitor was acting carelessly and brushed against something more delicate than they realized. But sometimes, an act that threatened to ruin a piece of art happened on purpose, either as an act of bored vandalism or a very misguided attempt to make the work look better.

But more rare than these cases are deliberate acts meant to harm a beloved piece and while it was largely unsuccessful, that seemed to describe one person's strange attempt to vandalize the Mona Lisa.

During a vacation in France, a Colorado man who goes by @lukeXC2002 on Twitter posted a series of videos chronicling a bizarre scene he saw unfold at the Louvre.

man in disguise pointing while pushing black wheelchair in the Louvre
twitter | @lukeXC2002

And as he tweeted out on May 29, it concerned the man we see here who showed up to the famous museum dressed as a much older woman who appeared to need this wheelchair to get around.

As Luke would put it, "Maybe this is just nuts to me."

As for what he was reacting to, the man soon revealed his ruse when he suddenly leapt out of the chair and tried to smash the protective layer of bulletproof glass that the Mona Lisa sits behind.

And while we could only see the aftermath that attracted the photographic efforts of curious onlookers, he said that the white smear we see across the painting in this clip came from a cake the man tried to smash over the glass.

It wasn't long before security personnel subdued this person.

But while he seemed to go relatively quietly after security started escorting him out, he did take a brief moment to explain his motives first.

In a statement translated from French by The Guardian, it seems the man repeatedly said, "Think of the Earth, people are destroying the Earth."

And if you're wondering why there are roses on the ground in this clip, the vandal apparently spread them around the room.

It's unclear if the Mona Lisa had any connection to his point other than as a popular font to gain attention for his cause, but he at least appeared to intend the stunt as a climate change protest or one against overall environmental degradation.

But whether that part of his plan was successful or not, he definitely didn't get very far if he had actually intended to damage the Mona Lisa.

Not only was he unable to get through to the actual painting, but we can see in this brief follow-up clip that the cake was easily wiped from the glass shortly after the man was escorted out of the museum.

The only difference is that cleaning this glass doesn't usually get so much applause.

h/t: The Guardian