Two climate activists threw some soup at the glass protecting the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum on Sunday and shouted slogans advocating for a sustainable food system. This came as French farmers have been protesting for days across the country against low wages and other problems.
In a video posted on social media, two women with the words “FOOD RIPOSTE” written on their t-shirts can be seen throwing soup at the glass protecting Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece 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,” they 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 health care system to be put in place to give people better access to healthy food while providing farmers a decent income.
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.