The Mona Lisa has seen some shit in her approximately 519 years. Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece has been stolen, vandalized, and parodied more often than anyone could count. She’s graced the covers of bestsellers, hung in Napoleon’s bedroom, and received 30,000 visitors a day at Paris’s Louvre Museum. But even by these lofty historical standards, she’s had a pretty chaotic week—one that found her getting attacked with cake and visited by a couple of very silly social media celebs.
According to the New York Times, a Louvre visitor disguised himself as a wheelchair user in order to get close to the painting over the weekend. He then went on to bang on the glass encasing the work and smear it with a pastry or cake.
As security escorted him out of the museum, the vandal suggested in French that the attack was a response to the climate crisis: “There are people who are destroying the Earth… All artists, think about the Earth. That’s why I did this. Think of the planet.”
It’s far from the first time the Mona Lisa has been targeted in a headline-making act of vandalism. In 1956, the work was damaged after acid was thrown at it, and, in a separate incident, a man tossed a rock at the painting. In the aftermath of these attacks, the Mona Lisa was encased in bulletproof glass, which came in handy in 2009, when another Louvre guest threw a teacup her way. The painting wasn’t damaged in the Sunday incident, and the attempted vandal was arrested and held in psychiatric care.
While our dear La Joconde has seen a lot of vandals in her day, she recently received a different kind of visit, one that could only have happened in the internet age. It seems that social media-famous twins Chris and Patrick Vörös stopped by the Louvre on Wednesday—two years after the viral video in which they pronounced da Vinci’s name as “da Vinki” video briefly took over the internet.
Between being subjected to a cake attack and winding up as meme fodder, it’s truly been a busy few days for a lady who’s spent the last half century or so in a temperature-controlled box. Maybe we should all leave the Mona Lisa alone for a while, and let her get back to doing what she loves the most: Staring at a sea of smartphones.