Performance artist Deborah De Robertis was charged with the damage and theft of “cultural property” after tagging five artworks, including Gustav Courbet’s L’Origine du Monde, with the slogan #MeToo. A French prosecutor announced the indictment of De Robertis, as well as two others, on Monday.

In early May, the women entered the Centre Pompidou-Metz in northern France and graffitied the glass pane protecting Courbet’s 1886 painting of a women’s nude torso and exposed vulva. The painting was on loan from Paris’s Musée d’Orsay for the show “Lacan, the exhibition. When art meets psychoanalysis,” which examines theories of the unconscious proposed by the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, who once owned the Courbet painting.

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Five other works, by artists such as Valie Export, Louise Bourgeois, and Rosmarie Trockel, were also tagged. A photograph by De Robertis, taken during a performance of Mirror of Origin (2014), in which she poses nude beneath Courbet’s work, was also tagged. Meanwhile, an embroidered piece by the French artist Annette Messager, titled I Think Therefore I Suck (1991), was stolen from the museum.

In a video taken of the action, protesters chanted “Me Too” as they were removed from the premises by museum security. 

De Robertis later claimed to have orchestrated the action as part of performance work, titled You Don’t Separate the Woman from the Artist. The title references the ongoing debate about whether art can be appreciated in isolation from the behavior of its creator.

The slogan #MeToo gained prominence in 2017 as part of a global movement against the sexual violence of women. At the peak of the movement’s momentum, a slew high-profile artists, as well as staff in the gallery and museum sectors, faced accusations of sexual harassment or assault.  

De Robertis told the AFP that the performance at the Centre Pompidou-Metz was staged because “the very closed world of contemporary art has remained largely silent until now.” She had previously made headlines for exposing herself in front of L’Origine du Monde, Édouard Manet’s Olympia (1863), and the Mona Lisa

In a statement shared via Medium on May 13, De Robertis wrote: “I violated museums, from the Orsay Museum to the Louvre Museum to the Pompidou Center. I entered them by force, without consent or permission, to claim my place in history.”

Addressing “collectors, art critics, gallery owners, historians, directors of institutions, art centers and museums,” De Robertis denounced “predators” who leverage their power in the art world to exploit vulnerable women artists. Curator Bernard Marcadé, who co-organized the Centre Pompidou-Metz show, was the only person named in the post.

According to AFP, De Robertis has not been detained, although she is barred by court order from entering exhibitions in the Moselle region, which includes part of France and Luxembourg.