Mona Lisa Tea Cup attacker hospitalized

August 12th, 2009 - 3:44 am ICT by John Le Fevre  

mona lisa A Russian woman who attacked the Mona Lisa with a teacup on August 2 has been sent to a French psychiatric infirmary by police.

According to police, the woman pulled a tea cup out of her bag and threw it over the heads of other people looking at the famous painting.

The painting by Leonardo da Vinci suffered no damage in the attack, with the tea cup smashing harmlessly against a bullet-proof glass cover in front of it.

Police said the woman appeared to be suffering from a mental illness and put up no resistance when Louvre Museum security guards rushed to apprehend her.

The Louvre, the biggest art museum in the world, has thousands of paintings, but most of the millions of visitors a year make a point of seeing the Mona Lisa, known in France as La Joconde.

The 500-year-old painting was stolen in 1911 from the Louvre but was returned two years later after an Italian was arrested for its theft.

It was doused with acid by a vandal in 1956 and later the same year a Bolivian damaged it again by throwing a rock at it.

A bullet-proof glass shield has been placed in front of the painting to prevent any similar attacks for many years, while the room the painting is housed in is equipped with extremely sophisticated security sensors.

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