Banana cream, German chocolate, apple, angel food, marble, cheese, pecan… of all the delicious cakes it was a plain white cream cake that was smeared on the Mona Lisa over the weekend. You’ve probably heard the story by now, a man disguised as an elderly woman in a wheelchair smashed a piece of cake onto the bulletproof glass protecting the Mona Lisa. Not only attacking the priceless piece of art but wasting perfectly good cake. All in the name of… the environment? I’m happy to report the not-so-sweet offender is being detained in a psychiatric hospital.
The Mona Lisa has been attacked before, but it isn’t the only famous piece of art vandals have targeted. Here are a few others:
Auguste Rodin’s Thinker outside the Cleveland Museum of Art lost its lower legs to a pipe bomb in 1970. Not what Rodin had in mind when he wanted to blow up the art scene.
Rembrandt’s Night Watch has inexplicably attracted several vandals, the most recent in 1990 when a visitor to the museum threw acid on it.
In 1986 another Rembrandt (hey vandals, what do you guys have against Rembrandt?!), Danae, had acid thrown on it. The attacker also slashed it a couple times with a knife. The painting was virtually destroyed.
Michelangelo’s Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica was attacked by a very confused (read: insane) man claiming to be Jesus. Bystanders tackled him immediately, but the damage to Mary’s nose and elbow were already done.
Another (slightly less famous) da Vinci was shot in 1988. This was also supposed to be a political statement. Whatever happened to just writing an Op-Ed piece?
In 2012 Monet’s Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat took a punch to the gut by an Irishman with a temper (wait, what?!) The hole was patched in less time it took for the guy to get out of jail.
Picasso’s Guernica was attacked in 1974 and (this is really wild) the attacker (Tony Shafrazi) is now a super successful art dealer in New York, making millions dealing art by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francis Bacon, and the like. Apparently spray-painting “KILL ALL LIES” across a world-famous piece of art is not the monstrous crime we might guess it is. Maybe the Mona Lisa cake criminal could do an apprenticeship with Shafrazi.
Art stirs up emotions, no doubt about it, but when it comes to defacing priceless masterpieces, I think we can all agree these vandals should get their just deserts.