(Update 1: Alters headline, adds news of legal action)
Paris, May 30 (EFE).- Punters at the Paris Louvre museum were left stunned when a man disguised as a woman in a wheelchair smeared cake over the glass protecting Leonard Da Vinci’s iconic Mona Lisa painting over the weekend.
Sources from the Louvre told Efe that the French institution would pursue legal action against the suspect.
According to initial information, the painting, which is protected by bulletproof glass, has not been damaged.
Several videos posted by visitors on social media appear to show a man in a wheelchair, wearing a wig and a cap being escorted out of the gallery by security personnel while the alleged vandal shouted: “Think of the earth, artists think of the Earth. There are people who are destroying the planet. That’s why I did it. Think of the Earth.”
Although there are no images or footage that captured the attack, several videos and photos posted to social media sites show Louvre staff collecting the remains of the cake and cleaning the glass.
The canvas, from the early 16th century, is one of the main attractions of the Louvre, which recently carried out reforms in the room where it is exhibited to better manage the crowds that gather in front of the world-famous painting.
It is not the first time the Mona Lisa has been attacked. In 2009, a man hurled a ceramic cup at it, and when it was loaned to Japan in 1974, a woman tried to vandalize it with red spray.
The move to cover the canvas with a protective layer of glass was done to prevent it from being damaged in future attacks. EFE