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The great Mona Lisa cake mystery

Welcome to Declassified, a weekly humor column.

Last summer, your author went to Paris (la-di-da, look at the Liberal Elite and their fancy ways). One morning, I woke up and went to Stohrer — the oldest patisserie in the city — for pastries and an éclair (OK, two éclairs and a tarte aux pommes. Back off, calorie police!) and then it was a brisk 10-minute walk to the Louvre (because I was on holiday and that’s what people on holiday in Paris do).

At no point did I consider taking one of my delicious food items and smearing it all over a painting, let alone probably the most famous painting in the world.

Yet this week, a man disguised himself as an old woman in a wheelchair and threw a piece of cake at the Mona Lisa.

I have questions.

The Louvre, and indeed all other museums — including the museum of David Hasselhoff paraphernalia in the basement of a Berlin hostel, which features a giant mural of the man himself that used to feature fake (hopefully) chest hair that visitors could stroke but which was removed because, in the words of a hostel worker, the fuzz “got really oily and gross very quickly. People just couldn’t resist touching it!” — let people of all ages and genders in, so why dress as an old woman? Maybe old women get a special ticket at major tourist attractions that allows them to bring in cake.

Plus, the painting is protected by a glass screen, so it was less of a protest against artists not focusing enough on saving the planet and more of a protest against the glass-making industry?

Perhaps the cake-thrower was a British Conservtive MP trying to cause a distraction from Boris Johnson’s woes in the wake of the Partygate scandal. Remember, earlier this year Conor Burns, a long-standing ally of the prime minister, said Johnson was “ambushed with a cake” at one of the many lockdown-breaking parties he attended.

Or maybe it was another enemy of German leftist MP Sahra Wagenknecht, who had a chocolate cake smashed into her face in 2016 because of her support for a limit on the number of migrants being let in.

The group behind the German cake attack was the “Anti-Fascist Initiative ‘Cake for Misanthropists’” — maybe they’ve made a rather messy return.

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Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best from our postbag — there’s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze.

“You must introduce me to your barber,” by Christopher Couples.

Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor.

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