In a video posted on social media, two women are seen throwing soup at the glass protecting Leonardo da Vinci’s piece.
Two climate activists have thrown soup at the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum in Paris and shouted slogans advocating for a sustainable food system amid farmers’ protests demanding the government address low wages and other problems.
The 16th-century painting by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci was not damaged.
In a video posted on social media, two women with the words ‘Riposte Alimentaire’ (food response) written on their T-shirts can be seen throwing soup at the glass protecting one of the world’s most famous paintings and passing under a security barrier to get closer to the painting.
“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,” the added.
The Louvre employees could then be seen putting black panels in front of the Mona Lisa and asking visitors to evacuate the room.
On its website, the “Food Riposte” group said the French government is breaking its climate commitments and called for the equivalent of France’s state-sponsored healthcare system to be put in place to give people better access to healthy food while providing farmers with a decent income.
In a statement sent to the AFP news agency, 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”.
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.
On Friday, the government announced a series of measures they said do not fully address their demands. Some farmers threatened to converge on Paris, starting Monday, to block the main roads leading to the capital.