In a bold protest for a sustainable food system, two climate activists disrupted the serene atmosphere of the Louvre Museum on Sunday by hurling soup at the protective glass surrounding the iconic “Mona Lisa.” The activists, adorned in T-shirts emblazoned with the words “FOOD RIPOSTE,” passionately advocated for a shift towards a healthier and more sustainable approach to food production.
A video of the incident circulated on social media, capturing the moment the two women breached security barriers, approached Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, and flung soup at the protective enclosure. Amidst their act, the activists vociferously questioned onlookers, asking, “What’s the most important thing? Art, or the right to a healthy and sustainable food?”
The protestors continued their verbal assault on the current agricultural system, declaring, “Our farming system is sick. Our farmers are dying at work.” Their disruptive actions prompted Louvre employees to swiftly respond by placing black panels in front of the Mona Lisa and urging visitors to evacuate the room.
Paris police confirmed the subsequent arrest of two individuals involved in the incident.
The Food Riposte group, responsible for the protest, expressed their grievances on their website, accusing the French government of neglecting climate commitments. The group called for the establishment of a comprehensive system similar to the country’s state-sponsored healthcare, aimed at ensuring widespread access to healthy food and providing farmers with a fair income.
The protest comes in the midst of heightened tensions within the French agricultural sector. Angry farmers, utilizing their tractors, have been staging road blockades and slowing traffic across the country for days. Their demands include better remuneration for their produce, reduced bureaucratic hurdles, and protection against the adverse effects of cheap imports. In a symbolic gesture, they also deposited foul-smelling agricultural waste at the entrances of government offices to draw attention to their plight.