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‘Mona Lisa’: Protesters hurl soup at the painting at the Louvre in Paris | CNN

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Riposte Alimentaire/X

Protestors from the environmental group Riposte Alimentaire address onlookers after hurling soup at the “Mona Lisa.”



CNN
 — 

Protesters hurled soup at the “Mona Lisa” painting in Paris on Sunday, but it was protected from damage by its glass casing.

The environmental group Riposte Alimentaire — which roughly translates to “Food Response” — said two protesters involved with their campaign were behind the vandalism.

A video of the incident shows the demonstrators throwing orange-colored soup from bottles before ducking beneath a protective barrier to address onlookers. “What is more important: art or the right to a healthy and sustainable diet?” one is heard asking.

The Louvre museum has since reopened the “Salle des Etats” room, which houses the “Mona Lisa,” after it was evacuated.

“Two activists from the environmental movement ‘Riposte Alimentaire’ sprayed pumpkin soup on the armoured glass protecting the Mona Lisa, this Sunday, January 28, 2024, around 10am (4aET),” a statement from the museum said.

“The Louvre’s security staff immediately intervened.”

The museum said it was lodging a complaint.

Posting to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, French Culture Minister Rachida Dati condemned the protest. “The Mona Lisa, like our heritage, belongs to future generations,” she wrote. “No cause can justify it being targeted!”

“I extend all my support to the staff of @museeLouvre,” added Dati, who was appointed as Culture Minister by France’s new Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, earlier this month.

Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece the “Mona Lisa” hangs in the Louvre museum and is arguably the most famous painting in the world. Millions of visitors each year line up to see, photograph or pose with the small artwork, which is just over 2.5 feet tall and under 2 feet wide.

Painted in the early 16th century, the enigmatic portrait is no stranger to both vandalism and thievery.

It was stolen in 1911 by a Louvre employee, raising its international profile, and the bottom of the canvas suffered an acid attack in the 1950s, leading the museum to beef up protective measures surrounding the work, including bulletproof glass.

In 2009, a woman angrily threw a ceramic cup at the painting, breaking the cup but leaving the painting unharmed.

Then in 2022, a visitor smeared frosting all over the Renaissance-era painting’s protective glass.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

CNN’s Jacqui Palumbo contributed to this report.



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