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A man in a wig was detained after throwing a piece of cake at the Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa last year in Paris.
Thibault Camus
/
AP
The Mona Lisa last year in Paris.

A man who seems to have been disguised as an old woman in a wheelchair threw a piece of cake at the Mona Lisa in Paris.

Video posted on social media shows security guards at the Louvre Museum escorting the man away Sunday as he spoke in French about the planet.

"Think of the Earth! There are people who are destroying the Earth! Think about it. Artists tell you: think of the Earth. That's why I did this," he says, according to The Associated Press.

Another video showed someone clearing the cake off the glass protecting the Mona Lisa, as onlookers held up their phones to film the incident's aftermath.

The 36-year-old man was detained and sent to a psychiatric unit, according to the AP.

The original Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci between 1503 and 1519. The oil painting hangs in the Louvre's largest room, according to the museum's website.

This isn't the first time the iconic painting has run into trouble. The protective glass was put up after it was damaged in an acid attack during the 1950s.

In 1911, the Mona Lisa disappeared from the museum. For more than two years, there were no hints on where it could be, until someone tried to sell the painting to an Italian art dealer, who informed authorities.

"So the Mona Lisa was recovered — and her fame was all the greater," the Louvre says on its website.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.