The Mona Lisa came under attack over the weekend in a bizarre case of attempted vandalism.
In videos shared on social media, a visitor to the Louvre Museum in Paris tried to smash the glass protecting the famous painting, and then smeared what looked like cake frosting across the surface.
The would-be vandal didn’t manage to break the protective glass, and the painting is unharmed.
The attacker appeared to be a man disguised as an old woman, who was reportedly carrying out a publicity stunt related to climate change.
“The guy was on a wheelchair. He was dressed with white clothes and had a long wig,” Sergio Migliaccio, who witnessed the incident, told NBC News. “All of a sudden the guy jumped from the wheelchair and, with a red rose between his lips, he climbed the fences and attacked the Mona Lisa with a cake (or similar).”
Migliaccio also shared Instagram photos of museum staff members attempting to wipe the frosting off the glass.
The iconic work by Leonardo da Vinci, which has been on display at the Louvre for more than two centuries, has been targeted before — notably in 1911, when the painting was stolen from the museum and recovered two years later.
In the 1950s, a museum visitor threw acid at the Mona Lisa. It has been kept behind glass since.
In 2009, a tourist hurled a terra cotta cup at it. The painting was unharmed.
In addition to protecting the Mona Lisa from vandals, the painting’s climate-controlled glass case prevents it from warping and cracking, according to the Louvre.