Activists splatter 'Mona Lisa' with soup at Louvre Museum in Paris, video shows

ByKevin Shalvey and Helena Skinner ABCNews logo
Sunday, January 28, 2024
Activists splatter 'Mona Lisa' with soup
Two women opened thermoses and splashed the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting. A video posted online showed streaks and splashes of orange on the bullet-proof glass and the blue wall behind the painting.

PARIS -- Activists splattered the glass-covered "Mona Lisa" painting with soup at the Louvre Museum in Paris on Sunday, according to the food-security group behind the protest.

Two women opened thermoses and splashed the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting at about 10 a.m., said the group, Riposte Alimentaire, or "Food Response." A video posted online by the group showed streaks and splashes of orange on the bullet-proof glass and the blue wall behind the painting.

The women -- who the group identified as Sasha, 24, and Marie-Juliette, 63 -- then crossed behind the protective wooden railing, stood on either side of the painting and called for "the integration of food into the general social security system."

"In France, one in three people skip meals due to lack of means," Riposte Alimentaire said in a statement posted in French. "At the same time, 20% of the food produced is thrown away. Our model stigmatizes the most precarious and does not respect our fundamental right to food."

Members of the museum's staff could be seen in the video rushing to hide the painting behind protective panels.

The French agriculture and food industry has become more profitable and those "excessive profits are estimated to be responsible for two thirds of inflation," Riposte Alimentaire said in a statement to ABC News. The statement also said European free-trade treaties created unfair conditions for French growers versus "foreign products that do not meet minimum ecological and social standards."

"Agriculture is responsible for 21% of national greenhouse gas emissions and contributes greatly to the deterioration of our biodiversity and the impoverishment of soils, due to the massive use of inputs," the group said.