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Michelangelo comes out of his shell at the Met

29 January 2018

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Much excitement at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week, when the museum’s blockbuster Michelangelo exhibition received an unlikely guest: the other Michelangelo.

Appearing in full costume, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hero appeared to jump for joy as he surveyed his namesake’s masterpieces, posing in front of sculptures, studiously contemplating drawings and even finding time to visit some of the Met’s other treasures.

What the Renaissance master would have made of it all is a moot point, but the visit was nothing if not a hit. Alas, there was no such joy last week for Leonardo (the artist, not the turtle), whose most famous work was confronted by an equally unexpected and altogether less cuddly visitor.

As reported in Le Parisien, authorities were called to the Louvre earlier this week after a 28-year-old Spanish man stripped off his clothes and posed starkers in front of the Mona Lisa. The offender was identified as Adrian Pino Olivera, a self-styled artist whose modus operandi is to get naked in a different European museum every month.

The Louvre has pressed a formal complaint against Olivera. Your correspondent suggests that the next time he visits an art gallery, he dons a turtle costume rather than a birthday suit…

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.