Books & Art

The 'Mona Lisa' Got Caked, But Why?

Call it a "smear campaign."

Out of all the paintings at the Louvre Museum in Paris, the "Mona Lisa" has become its most popular and beloved attraction. Painted by Leonardo Da Vinci in the early 16th century, the piece was then acquired by King Francis I of France, and eventually found itself into the halls of the museum.

The opus had been stolen briefly in 1911. Pablo Picasso was even blamed for it, but was later cleared. It was revealed that the heist was actually planned by three Italian brothers. The "Mona Lisa" would be recovered in 1913.

It's the painting's legend that had created its allure. Now, it adds another layer (of vanilla) to its storied history after an activist smeared cake on it on Sunday, May 29.

Witnesses said that the man disguised himself as an elderly lady in a wheelchair, wearing a wig and makeup. He had hidden the cake inside his personal belongings and was presumably dressed as such to gain access to the handicapped spot for better viewing. Once in front of Leonardo Da Vinci's iconic painting, he stood up and tried to break the bulletproof glass case. He ended up smearing the cream all over it.

Security guards were quick to react. Before getting pounced, he proceeded to throw red roses at their heels.

The incident was said to be a climate protest. When the culprit was being taken away, the man yelled 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."


In a statement issued by the Louvre, the painting, thankfully, had not suffered any damages. The 36-year-old man is being investigated for charges of "damage of cultural artifacts."

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Bryle B. Suralta
Assistant Section Editor
Bryle B. Suralta is the Assistant Section Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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