Two protesters from an environmental group hurled pumpkin-colored soup on the Mona Lisa on the Louvre museum in Paris on Sunday, splashing the bulletproof glass that protects essentially the most well-known portray on this planet, however not apparently damaging the work itself.
Because the customary crowd across the Sixteenth-century portray by Leonardo da Vinci gasped in shock, the protesters, two younger ladies, adopted up their assault by passing underneath a barrier and standing on both aspect of the paintings, arms raised in an obvious salute.
“What’s extra vital? Artwork or the appropriate to have a wholesome and sustainable meals system?” the activists mentioned, talking in French. “Our agricultural system is sick.” They had been led away by Louvre safety guards.
It was not instantly clear how the ladies bought the soup via the flowery safety system on the museum, which borders the Seine and comprises an unlimited artwork and archaeological assortment spanning civilizations and centuries.
One of many ladies eliminated her jacket to disclose the phrases Riposte Alimentaire, or Meals Response, on a white T-shirt. Riposte Alimentaire is a part of a coalition of protest teams referred to as the A22 motion. They embrace Extinction Riot and Simply Cease Oil, the group that poured tomato soup over Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers on the Nationwide Gallery in London in 2022.
The assault on the Mona Lisa got here as French farmers have blocked roads, together with approaches to Paris, in latest days to protest low wages and what they see as extreme regulation. Many new laws in France replicate the try and forge a inexperienced, carbon-free European economic system, an goal that the farmers think about too costly and burdensome within the close to time period.
The protests by the 2 younger ladies and the farmers appeared to replicate two starkly completely different views of agriculture and the suitable priorities for European society.
Workers on the Louvre on Sunday tried to erect material screens to hide the soup-splashed Mona Lisa, however the screens weren’t efficient. Photographs of the assault shortly went viral on social media.
The Mona Lisa has been behind glass because the Fifties, when a customer poured acid on it. In 2019, the museum put in glass of what it mentioned was superior transparency. Three years later, one other environmental activist threw cake and cream on the portray. It was undamaged.
The newest assault will heighten safety considerations forward of the Paris Olympics.
The opening ceremony is simply six months away and can happen on the Seine. A flotilla of boats will carry about 10,000 athletes to the foot of the Eiffel Tower, as practically a half-million spectators, together with many heads of state, line the four-mile route. The boats will sail previous the Louvre as a part of a ceremony conceived to showcase the great thing about Paris, however which has raised severe safety points which are nonetheless underneath evaluate.