Chaos Ensued at the Louvre After Someone Threw Cake at the Mona Lisa

On May 29, a Louvre visitor vandalized the Mona Lisa, and many are curious to know who threw the cake at the renowned painting. Here's what we know.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

May 31 2022, Published 12:10 p.m. ET

Yet again, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is the target of vile vandalism.

The painting, 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," recently made headlines after someone threw cake and smeared frosting all over its protective glass.

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OK, we can't help but ask: Who would do such a thing? Not only are there many security guards at the distinguished Louvre museum, but da Vinci's beloved masterpiece is arguably the world's most famous painting.

So, who threw cake at the Mona Lisa? Here's everything we know, including their motive.

The 'Mona Lisa' on display at the Louvre museum on August 24, 2005.
Source: Getty Images
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Who threw cake at the Mona Lisa?

On May 29, 2022, several photos and videos of the incident made the rounds on social media.

The perpetrator — a man who disguised himself as an elderly woman — approached the artwork in a wheelchair and threw a piece of cake. The individual also attempted to smash the protective glass before security escorted him away. Thankfully, the Louvre announced via CNN that the attack left the Mona Lisa unharmed.

An eyewitness to the event, Sergio Migliaccio, told NBC News that the man "jumped from the wheelchair and, with a red rose between his lips, he climbed the fences and attacked the Mona Lisa with a cake."

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According to the Associated Press, the Paris prosecutor's office revealed the 36-year-old man was arrested and sent to a "police psychiatric unit" following the incident. Since then, an investigation has commenced for the "damage of cultural artifacts."

That's good to know, but why would he do such a thing? Keep reading to find out all the known details.

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Why did a man smear cake on the Mona Lisa?

In a video shared on Twitter, the wrongdoer is seen leaving the gallery. During his exit, he addresses the crowd in French. Of course, for those of us not fluent in the "language of love," we have no clue what he's saying. Luckily, someone translated it!

"Think about the Earth, think about the Earth — there are people who are destroying the Earth, think about it," the translator wrote. "All the artists tell you think about the Earth, all artists think about the Earth, that's why I did this, think about the planet."

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Clearly, the culprit is a climate activist and threw cake on the Mona Lisa as a protest stunt to bring more attention to climate change. However, many are confused about why he targeted the renowned painting.

"I don’t understand how smearing cake on the Mona Lisa was supposed to 1) draw attention to climate change or 2) make people want to join you in fighting climate change. Sure, the incident is being talked about — but none of that discussion is about climate change," one person wrote on Twitter.

Another claimed that the man was wrong for what he did because "people are talking about the Mona Lisa, the cream, [and] the guy" rather than climate change. "It distracted, not helped conversation," they concluded.

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