In Feb. 7th, 2013, a certain woman was arrested because she vandalized “Liberty Leading the People”, a world famous painting work by Delacroix in Louvre museum.
The culprit is a 28-year-old woman, reports say, seems to be mentally disordered. The message she wrote was “AE911” whose meaning remains unknown. But most people imagined about Sep. 11, 2001 terrorism in USA with it.
NYDailyNews.com: Famed painting defaced at Louvre gallery with 9/11 truther scrawlings
Lantinos Post: 9/11 'Truther' Vandalizes Famous 'Liberty Leading the People' Painting at Louvre?
Local media reported the case in detailed. I cannot read French, but using Google Translator, I knew she would be evaluated to be hospitalized into mental hospital.
Le Parisien: Musée du Louvre-Lens : le tableau tagué de Delacroix a pu être restauré (in French)
I can hardly comment to such a case due to limitation of precise information. It is unclear whether she was mentally ill. But I am concerned about some issues.
First, it is a problem in which case insanity defense is applicable. In Japan, the judge in court seldom decides that the suspect was legally irresponsible for the reason of mental disorder. On the other hand, a prosecutor sometimes decides to send offenders with mental disorders to mental hospital or court for involuntary admission. The border between responsible and irresponsible is still vague among legal professionals, even more differ in countries.
Second, I am afraid of spreading of stigma for people with mental disorders after this case. Some people claim that mentally ill patients have to be secluded. It is nonsense. Every people have risk for mental illness. And it is difficult to predict the crime by a people with mental disorders.
Third, should you strengthen the security level in museum? I think not. Probability of damage of a work in museum by a visitor is not so high. If the administrator began to cover all of the works with secure glass, number of visitors would be decreased extremely. A museum is not an atomic power plant. I hope all concerned keep calm.