54-year-old climate activist Joanna Smith, hailing from Brooklyn, New York, faced legal repercussions after she vandalized the protective case surrounding Edgar Degas' renowned sculpture "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen" at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. disclosed that Smith received a 60-day prison sentence, a penalty falling within the spectrum of a potential maximum of five years for defacing the historic artwork. Judge Amy Berman Jackson additionally mandated Smith to undergo 24 months of supervised release and commit 150 hours to community service, with a specific requirement of 10 hours dedicated to graffiti removal.

In an effort to address the damage inflicted, Smith also made restitution for the harm caused to the Degas sculpture. Furthermore, as part of the legal ramifications, she was prohibited from entering the nation's capital and accessing any museums or monuments for a duration of two years.

On April 27, 2023, Joanna Smith, in collaboration with fellow co-conspirators, embarked on a journey to Washington D.C. with the purported aim of targeting a sculpture, as detailed by the attorney's office.

Allegedly, the group clandestinely transported paint concealed within plastic water bottles, and with the assistance of accomplices, documented their actions of smearing the paint onto the base and protective case of the sculpture, sometimes exerting considerable force, all while recording the vandalism on their mobile devices.

The government's evidence suggests that Smith and her associates went to lengths to publicize their actions, creating video statements elucidating their intentions. Moreover, they reportedly alerted two reporters from the Washington Post, who subsequently arrived at the scene to document and photograph the vandalism.

The repercussions of the April 27 incident were significant, with the damage estimated at $4,000. As a result, "Little Dancer," a priceless artwork with a storied history spanning approximately 143 years, had to be removed from public display for a period of 10 days to undergo necessary repairs, according to the release from the attorney's office.