art or crazy? Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in the Louvre in Paris was the target of an act of vandalism! A visitor on Sunday disguised himself with a wheelchair, wig and woman’s dress. He managed to smear the famous masterpiece with a cake. But only almost.
Unfortunately for the vandals, a glass case protects the painting. Security personnel and police can overpower the perpetrator immediately. Numerous Louvre visitors witness the deed. It remains unclear whether the screen assassin saw himself as an artist or was mentally confused. After the smearing, he scatters rose petals on the floor.
While he is being led away and still pushing the camouflaged wheelchair in front of him, he makes a statement and says something about “artists”. It remains unclear whether he really wanted to damage the artwork.
Mona Lisa is a frequent target of attacks
The Da Vinci painting, which measures just 77 by 53 centimeters and was created between 1503 and 1519, is behind glass for a reason. It has been attacked several times. In 2009, a Russian threw a teacup at the work of art, which smashed against the glass case.
In the 1950s, the Mona Lisa was slightly damaged by two attackers who threw acid and a rock at the painting. During an exhibition in Tokyo in 1974, a woman spray-painted her wheelchair. Out of anger at the lack of access ramps to the Mona Lisa, which she never reached.
The most sensational attack happened 111 years ago: in 1911, Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian immigrant in France, managed to steal the painting. He hid it under his jacket and brought it back to Italy. The Mona Lisa remained missing for three years. Then Peruggia tried to sell the stolen goods to an antique dealer. He was arrested.
Most valuable painting in the world
The 1999 Guinness Book of World Records named the Mona Lisa the painting with the highest insurance value. In 1962 it was valued at $100 million. Adjusted for inflation, that’s about $850 million today. (kes)