Two protesters from an environmental group threw pumpkin-colored soup on the Mona Lisa within the Louvre in Paris on Sunday, splashing the bulletproof glass that protects the world’s most well-known portray however apparently not damaging the work itself.
As the standard crowd round Leonardo da Vinci’s Sixteenth-century portray gasped in shock, the protesters, two younger girls, adopted up their cost by passing below a barrier and standing on both facet of the art work, arms raised in an obvious salute.
“What’s extra necessary? Artwork or the fitting to a wholesome and sustainable meals system?” the activists mentioned in French. “Our agricultural system is sick.” They have been led away by Louvre guards.
It was not instantly clear how the ladies obtained the soup by means of the frilly safety system of the museum, which borders the Seine and accommodates an enormous artwork and archaeological assortment spanning civilizations and centuries.
One of many girls took off her jacket and a white T-shirt bore the phrases Riposte Alimentaire, or Meals Response. Riposte Alimentaire is a part of a coalition of protest teams often known as the A22 motion. Amongst them Extinction Rebel and Simply Cease Oil, the group that served tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers within the Nationwide Gallery in London in 2022.
The assault on the Mona Lisa got here as French farmers have blocked roads, together with entry to Paris, in current days to protest low wages and what they see as extreme rules. Many new rules in France mirror the try to create a inexperienced, carbon-free European economic system, a purpose that farmers discover too costly and burdensome within the brief time period.
The protests of the 2 younger girls and the farmers appeared to mirror two utterly completely different visions of agriculture and the fitting priorities for European society.
Louvre employees tried to erect fabric screens to cover the soup-splattered Mona Lisa on Sunday, however the screens have been ineffective. Pictures of the assault shortly went viral on social media.
The Mona Lisa has been behind glass for the reason that Fifties, when a customer poured acid on it. In 2019, the museum put in glass with what it claims is superior transparency. Three years later, one other environmentalist 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 barely six months away and can happen on the Seine. A fleet of boats will ferry round 10,000 athletes to the bottom of the Eiffel Tower, whereas almost half 1,000,000 spectators, together with many heads of state, line the six-kilometre route. The boats will sail previous the Louvre as a part of a ceremony supposed to showcase the great thing about Paris, however which has raised severe security considerations which can be nonetheless being investigated.