7 famous artwork attacks (it's not the Mona Lisa's first time)

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Environmental campaigners person struck again against a celebrated artwork astatine a awesome gallery. This time, members of Riposte Alimentaire (Food Counterattack) threw crockery astatine nan Mona Lisa, astatine nan Louvre successful Paris. The incident follows akin cases that person included mashed potatoes thrown astatine a Monet successful Germany and lipid splashed connected a Klimt successful Vienna. 

Since Da Vinci's artwork is down bulletproof glass, it wasn't damaged successful nan incident. Indeed, galore environmentalists person intentionally targeted high-profile useful that they cognize are good protected and won't suffer damage. However, that's not ever been nan case.

Over nan years, group person attacked artworks for different reasons, sometimes owed to intelligence unwellness but besides often arsenic a shape aliases protestation aliases moreover pinch nan volition of creating a caller activity of art. There are large questions astir whether nan vandalism of a portion of creation tin moreover beryllium creation itself, aliases whether it's an effective measurement to tie attraction to a superior rumor aliases simply alienates imaginable sympathisers, but it's difficult to contradict that it gets attraction After all, present we are talking astir it. Here are 7 times that artworks person been attacked either for protestation aliases for nan liking of art.

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01. The Mona Lisa 

The Mona Lisa attacked pinch crockery successful nan Louvre

The Mona Lisa astatine nan Louvre connected Sunday (Image credit: Getty Images)

The caller incident astatine nan Louvre was by nary intends nan first. The Mona Lisa is 1 of nan astir celebrated paintings successful nan world, truthful it's possibly earthy that it's besides 1 of nan pieces that has been astir attacked. 

Poor Lisa Giocondo was doused pinch acerb and deed pinch a stone successful 1956 and attacked pinch spray overgarment successful 1974. The second attack, mostly unsuccessful, took spot erstwhile nan coating was connected circuit astatine nan National Museum successful Tokyo successful 1974 and was a protestation astatine crowd power measures that disablement activists saw arsenic discriminatory. The culprit was fined but nan depository did group speech a time for abnormal visitors arsenic a result. 

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More recently, successful 2009, a Russian female threw a teacup from nan Louvre's ain shop astatine nan coating aft she was denied denied French citizenship. And, successful 2022, an  environmental campaigner smeared nan Mona Lisa pinch cake. Yes, there's bully logic for that bulletproof glass.

02. Van Gogh's sunflowers

Campaigners successful beforehand of Van Gogh's Sunflowers aft splashing it pinch soup

Just Stop Oil campaigners astatine nan National Gallery successful London (Image credit: Anadolu via Getty Images )

Another caller onslaught carried retired by biology protesters targeted Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers astatine nan National Gallery successful London during Frieze Week 2022. Again, crockery was nan limb of prime and nan coating was unharmed since it is protected by glass. The protesters from Just Stop Oil said they had chosen nan coating because of that protection.

03. Picasso’s Guernica

Guernica by Pablo Picasso

Guernica by Pablo Picasso (Image credit: Museo Reina Sofia)

Many of nan astir caller cases of artworks being attacked progressive biology protests. However, paintings person been targeted successful protestation astatine a wide scope of issues complete nan years. 

Tony Shafrazi, who was an early trader of creation by Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, spray painted “KILL LIES ALL” connected Picasso’s Guernica while it was connected semipermanent indebtedness astatine nan Museum of Modern Art successful New York. The enactment was intended arsenic a protestation against nan merchandise of William Caley, who had been convicted complete nan My Lai massacre during nan Vietnam War. The coating did not suffer imperishable harm acknowledgment to its heavy coating of varnish.

04. Mondrian's Composition pinch Red, White and Blue

An absurd coating by Piet Mondrian

An creation student chose an unconventional measurement to adhd immoderate further bluish to Mondrian's Composition pinch Red, White and Blue (Image credit: Piet Mondrian)

One of nan astir bizarre cases of creation vandalism progressive not crockery aliases overgarment but vomit. In 1996, nan Canadian creation student Jubal Brown threw up complete Piet Mondrian's Composition successful Red, White and Blue astatine nan Museum of Modern Art successful New York, claiming that nan activity was truthful 'lifeless' it had made him sick. 

At slightest he respected nan title of Mondrian's piece. Before making himself sick, he ate bluish barroom icing and bluish Jell-O to guarantee his vomit was a agleam bluish colour. And it turned retired that he had form. He had antecedently spewed reddish vomit complete a Raoul Dufy coating astatine a assemblage successful Toronto. He apparently planned a 3rd activity successful yellow, but thought amended of it. 

Brown later said that he had done it to subvert bourgeois culture. "I spell into a assemblage pinch my tummy afloat of a peculiar colour and immoderate inspires maine inspires me," he was quoted arsenic saying. "It's very elemental and direct."

05. The White Cross

An absurd coating by Kazimir Malevich

Alexander Brener scrawled a greenish dollar motion on Kazimir Malevich‘s The White Cross (Image credit: Kazimir Malevich)

It's not clear whether Brown considered his vomiting to beryllium art, but location person been plentifulness of cases of artists vandalising, aliases 'creating a speech with', different artist's activity to create what they considered to beryllium a caller activity of art.

In 1997, the capacity creator Alexander Brener scrawled a greenish dollar motion on Kazimir Malevich‘s The White Cross. He was sentenced to five months successful situation arsenic a result. successful his defence, Brener said: "The transverse is simply a awesome of suffering, nan dollar motion a awesome of waste and acquisition and merchandise. What I did was not against nan painting. I position my enactment arsenic a speech pinch Malevich. The coating was restored.

06. Duchamp's Fountain

Marcel Duchamp's Fountain

Duchamp's Fountain (Image credit: Alfred Stieglitz)

Vomit is not nan only bodily fluid to person been utilized successful attacks connected useful of art. successful 1993, French capacity creator Pierre Pinoncelli urinated successful Marcel Duchamp’s famed Fountain. To beryllium fair, nan activity is simply a urinal, truthful it was possibly inevitable that personification would try. In fact, Brian Eno besides claims to person taken a leak successful Duchamp's readymade. However, Pinoncelli besides took a hammer to nan piece, earning himself a period successful jailhouse and a fine. Not deterred, he tried again astatine nan Centre Pompidou successful 2006, chipping nan urinal, I mean Fountain, which required restoration work.

 07. David Hammons' How Ya Like Me Now?

Some artists person moreover embraced attacks against their work. David Hammons' How Ya Like Me Now? is simply a image of nan Black leader Jesse Jackson but pinch achromatic tegument that nan creator intended to situation title perceptions. However, nan ample portion was attacked pinch sledgehammers erstwhile it was connected show successful Washington successful 1989, apparently by group who misunderstood nan artists' intention.

After it was repaired, Hammons, decided to see sledgehammers arsenic portion of nan piece, placing them connected nan crushed astir it. Hammon possibly sympathised pinch nan attackers having 'intervened' pinch different artists' activity himself successful nan past. He urinated connected Richard Serra's sculpture T.W.C to create a bid of photos named "Pissed Off".

See our prime of nan best thoroughfare art.

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Daily creation news, reviews, how-tos and more, arsenic picked by nan editors.

Joe is simply a regular freelance journalist and editor astatine Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps way of nan champion instrumentality for creatives, from monitors to accessories and agency supplies. A writer and translator, he besides useful arsenic a task head astatine London and Buenos Aires-based design, accumulation and branding agency Hermana Creatives, wherever he manages a squad of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise successful producing photography, video content, schematic creation and collaterals for nan hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, peculiarly quality photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.

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