Environmental Protestors throw soup on Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa

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Environmental Protestors threw soup at Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic Mona Lisa, which is housed in The Louvre in Central Paris. Thankfully, the priceless piece of art is protected by a glass casing, which saved it from being damaged.

The protestors called for the right to “healthy and sustainable” food and used the popularity of the painting to give themselves a platform that would allow them to spread their message to the entire world.

Videos of the entire episode have been going viral on social media platforms and show two women yelling, “What is more important? Art or the right to healthy and sustainable food? Your agricultural system is sick. Our farmers are dying at work.”

Following this, museum security placed black screens to block the view before evacuating the room.

Riposte Alimentaire (Food Counterattack), is the environmental group which has claimed responsibility for what happened and has also stated that the protest is its way of pushing for the integration of food into the general social security system.

According to the group, the current system for food production, “stigmatises the most precarious and does not respect our fundamental right to food”.

The group also seeks the application of a policy through which, a food card worth €150 will be issued to citizens each month for the express purpose of buying food.

The Louvre has issued an official statement regarding what occurred, saying that the two women, who are members of Riposte Alimentaire, sprayed pumpkin soup on the Mona Lisa at roughly 10:00 local time (09:00 GMT).

The Louvre has also clarified that the painting has sustained no damage whatsoever despite the efforts of the two members of the environmental movement.

Museum authorities proceeded with the evacuation of the Salle des Etats, where the painting is housed, before a clean up crew was brought in. Salle des Etats was subsequently opened to the public once again at 11:30 local time.

The museum has also stated that it had lodged a formal complaint against the individuals and the organisation involved in this incident.

While the members of Riposte Alimentaire might present with a noble aim at heart, many fail to conceive how targeting a priceless piece of art, which is as much an icon as it is a part of history, would help them achieve their objectives.

France‘s Minister for Culture, Rachida Dati, stated the following via twitter, “Like our heritage [the painting] belongs to future generations.”

She has been very clear that no cause can plausibly justify an attack on the Mona Lisa.
This incident occurred while the French Farmer’s Protest continued in the capital city.

French farmers have been asking the government to limit the astronomical rise in fuel costs and simplify farming regulations. Since very little has been done to address their concerns, the protesting farmers took to blocking key roads which lead in and out of Paris as a form of protest.

To the relief of art enthusiasts, the world over, the Mona Lisa has been protected by safety glass since the early 1950’s. This step was taken after a visitor poured acid on the painting, damaging it in the process.

The Museum installed a more transparent bullet proof glass casing on the painting in 2019, which protected it from wayward activists that threw cake on it in 2022 while shouting, “think of the Earth.”

Hence, this is not the first such incident involving the Mona Lisa, or other famous pieces of art. In fact, damaging iconic pieces, or attempting to do so, has become a popular form of protest in recent times.

Sadly, those involved in doing so seem to fail to understand the value of art to humanity’s understanding of history and the development of cultures as we see them today.

While people in France are aware of the difficulties being faced by the farmers of the nation, many believe there are better avenues to pursue than defacing great pieces of art, which are a part of the legacy of humanity.

Ana Allen
Ana Allenhttp://writeups24.com
Anna Allen, news writer at Writeups24, is a Harvard graduate with a passion for journalism. With her keen eye for detail and insatiable curiosity, she captures the essence of global stories. Anna's writing informs and delves into cultural nuances. To reach Anna, you can email contact@writeups24.com


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