Iconic Mona Lisa at Louvre Survives Soup Attack Amidst French Agricultural Protests

January 29, 2024
1 min read

Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece at the Louvre museum in Paris has been a source of joy and curiosity for millions of art lovers. Her enigmatic smile has been a source of debate among onlookers of this inimitable piece of painting. However, on Sunday, it became a target of protesters as they hurled pumpkin soup at the bullet-proof glass protecting it. The protesters were demanding the right to “healthy and sustainable food.” 

This action, which comes as French farmers protest across the country, is the latest in a string of similar attacks against artworks to demand more action to protect the planet. The activists asked, “What is more important? Art or the right to healthy and sustainable food?” They said, before security staff evacuated the room, “Your agricultural system is sick. Our farmers are dying at work.”

A police source said both the activists had been detained. The Louvre museum said the women had hidden the pumpkin soup in a coffee thermos. Small quantities of food are allowed inside the museum, though eating is not permitted in the exhibition rooms. The museum spokesperson said the artwork had suffered “no damage,” and the room housing the masterpiece had reopened to the public after closing for around an hour. 

A group called Riposte Alimentaire (“Food Counterattack”) claimed responsibility for the stunt. They said the soup throwing marked the “start of a campaign of civil resistance with the clear demand of the social security of sustainable food.” 

French Culture Minister Rachida Dati criticized the soup attack. She wrote on X, “The Mona Lisa, as our heritage, belongs to future generations. No cause can justify targeting it.” Sunday’s action comes as French farmers have been protesting for days to demand better pay, taxes, and regulations. 

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The French government has been trying to keep discontent among the agricultural workers from spreading months ahead of European Parliament elections, which are seen as a key test for President Emmanuel Macron’s government. In short, the climate crisis has added so much strain on the environment that the farmers, who are supposed to enrich ecology, are forced to attack the Mona Lisa as a symbol of their protest.

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

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