A woman who exposes herself in museums will be prosecuted after she showed her genitals in front of the Mona Lisa in Paris.
Deborah de Robertis spread open her legs in front of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting last week in the Louvre museum, whilst shouting “Mona Lisa, my pussy, my copyright” while several tourists looked on.
Discussing the incident, Robertis said:
The goal was not to exhibit my genitals but to copy a famous photograph by Valie Export.
For those of you who don’t know, Valerie is an Austrian performance artist who is known for her sexually provocative work during the 70s.
My message is to question the place of women artists in the history of art. That’s why it’s necessary to do my performances in museums.
Robertis was taken into police custody before appearing in front of a judge, who has ordered for her trial on October 18th for charges of sexual exhibitionism and assault. Apparently she bit a museum guard’s jacket during her arrest. Robertis’s lawyer Marie Dose said:
The legal approach to this affair is scandalous.
It’s not exhibitionism if there is no wish to assault someone sexually, which is completely contrary to the work of this performance artist.
This isn’t the first time that Robertis has been in trouble over her public displays of nudity – back in January 2016 she was arrested for indecent exposure after lying down naked in the Orsay Museum in front of Edouard Manet’s painting of Olympia and in May 2014 she did the same in front of Gustave Courbet’s ‘The Origin of the World’ painting.
I say hats off to the woman – she’s simply making a stance in order to make the models in the paintings active rather than passive. As she puts it, “I reverse the usual relationship between the models and the public.” Whether she will be sent to prison is yet to be seen, but at least she achieved her goal – for one moment, she made the Mona Lisa come alive after being stared at for centuries.
To read about the badass 86-year-old who was arrested for spray painting anti-war graffiti, click HERE.