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Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa remained unscathed after a man threw a piece of cake at the protective glass surrounding the famous painting during an apparent climate protest stunt at the Louvre Museum.
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The protester – a young man dressed as an old woman in a wheelchair – attacked the window and tried to break it on Sunday. A witness tweeted that the man ‘smeared cake on the glass and threw roses everywhere’ before being attacked by security.
Footage shows the attacker being escorted by museum staff with the wheelchair. He can be heard saying: “Think of the Earth, people are destroying the Earth” in French as he walked away, indicating the incident was likely to have an environmentalist motive.
The man was not immediately identified.
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A Twitter video posted by another witness shows a museum worker cleaning the glass as tourists watch and capture photos and videos of the incident with their phones.
According to Guinness World Records, the Mona Lisa has the highest insurance value of any painting in history. Although its value is incalculable, ArtNet estimates that if the painting were to be auctioned, it could fetch up to $50 billion, like “Salvator Mundi”, another work attributed to Leonardo DaVinci, which recently sold for $450 million. dollars. The Mona Lisa, in addition to being a valuable work of art, also boosts tourism, bringing in up to $3 billion to the French economy every year, according to ArtNet.
Besides auction and economic values, the Mona Lisa is worth approximately $867 million, based on a 1967 valuation of $100 million and adjusting for inflation.
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The Louvre told Fox News Digital in a statement that a complaint has been filed regarding the incident.
“The museum salutes the professionalism of its agents who reacted immediately during this incident. It also recalls that the surveillance of national collections is at the heart of their missions”, indicated the Louvre, in a press release translated from French into English. .
Reuters contributed to this report.
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