Activists throw soup at Mona Lisa in Louvre climate protest

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Two climate activists threw soup at the glass protecting the famed Mona Lisa painting at the Louvre Museum in Paris while shouting slogans advocating for a sustainable food system. 

Video posted to social media shows two women with the words “Riposte Alimentaire” written on their t-shirts passing under a security barrier to get close to the painting before throwing soup at the glass protecting Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Associated Press reports. 

“What’s the most important thing?” they shouted. “Art, or right to a healthy and sustainable food?”

“Our farming system is sick. Our farmers are dying at work,” they added.

PURPORTED EARLIER VERSION OF DA VINCI’S ‘MONA LISA’ WOWS ART LOVERS AFTER GOING ON DISPLAY

Louvre Mona Lisa climate activists

Activists pose after throwing soup at the glass protecting the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum Jan. 28, 2024, after shouting slogans advocating for a sustainable food system. (AP Photo/Clement Lanot)

Louvre employees could then be seen putting black panels in front of the Mona Lisa and asking visitors to evacuate the room. Staff told the BBC that pumpkin soup was sprayed on the painting by members of an environmental movement around 10 a.m. local time, but there was no damage to the artwork.

Paris police said two people were arrested following the incident.

The display happened while French farmers protest against several issues, including low wages.

Riposte Alimentaire took credit for the attack on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. 

SCIENTISTS USE X-RAYS TO REVEAL CLUE ABOUT TECHNIQUES DA VINCI USED WHEN PAINTING ‘MONA LISA’

Riposte Alimentaire tweet

Riposte Alimentaire took credit on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, for throwing soup on the Mona Lisa. (X/@riposte_alim)

On its website, the group said the French government is breaking its climate commitments and called for the equivalent of the country’s state-sponsored health care system to be put in place to give people better access to healthy food while providing farmers a decent income, the AP states.

Angry French farmers have been using their tractors for days to set up road blockades and slow traffic across France to seek better remuneration for their produce, less red tape and protection against cheap imports. They also dumped stinky agricultural waste at the gates of government offices.

Mona Lisa soup splatter

In this grab taken from video, a view of the scene after activists hurled soup at the glass protecting the Mona Lisa, at the Louvre Museum, in Paris, Sunday. Jan. 28, 2024. (AP Photo/Clement Lanot)

On Friday, the government announced a series of measures that farmers said do not fully address their demands. Those include “drastically simplifying” certain technical procedures and a progressive end to diesel fuel taxes for farm vehicles.

Some farmers threatened to converge on Paris, starting Monday, to block the main roads leading to the capital.

Mona Lisa soup activist

One of the activists can be seen after throwing what the Louvre has identified as pumpkin soup at the Mona Lisa. The painting was not damaged. (AP Photo/Clement Lanot)

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Back in May 2022 a man threw a piece of cake at the protective glass surrounding the famed painting in an apparent climate protest stunt.

The protester – a young man disguised as an old woman in a wheelchair – attacked the glass and attempted to smash it on Sunday. One witness tweeted that the man proceeded to “smear cake on the glass, and throws roses everywhere” before being tackled by security. 

Fox News’ Haley Chi-Sing, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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