Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa is currently located at the Louvre Museum in France. Wikimedia Commons

Two environmental activists threw pumpkin soup at the Mona Lisa painting in Paris last Sunday as an act of protest against the current food situation in France.

Luckily, the targeted painting was not damaged due to its protective, glass casing. The Louvre Museum has also stated that they will be complaining about the accused.

The incident was caught on video and made rounds on social media platforms. It featured the two protesters who were both wearing shirts with the text "Food Riposte".

They were both caught passing under a security barrier to get closer to the painting, before hurling the soup from their bottles.

The two women were heard shouting: "What is more important? Art or the right to healthy and sustainable food?"

They also boldly stated that France's "agricultural system is sick" and that their farmers are "dying at work".

The employees of the Louvre museum were then seen putting black panels in front of the Mona Lisa while asking onlookers to evacuate the Salle des Etats room.

Environmental group Riposte Alimentaire (Food Response) claimed responsibility for the attack and identified the two accused as their members.

They explained that it was part of their efforts to draw attention to the unsustainable food production and hunger in France.

In their statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, the group mentioned that they wish for the "integration of food into the general social security system".

It also tackled the issue of the current food model and how it "stigmatises the most precarious and does not respect our fundamental right to food".

Based on their website, Riposte Alimentaire is a "profound and collective transformation operation" aimed towards establishing Sustainable Food Social Security.

Currently, they are calling for the monthly implementation of an individual food card worth 150 euros, approximately 128 pounds.

Part of the A22 Network, an international resistance "racing to save humanity" through a series of activist projects worldwide, Riposte Alimentaire's targeted attack was carried out in the same fashion as the other groups under the network.

For example, just last year, the infamous UK environmental protest group, Just Stop Oil, also caused a disruption during the Wimbledon Championships which they later took credit for through social media.

The Louvre Museum has stated they intend to lodge a complaint against the people involved in the incident.

France's Minister for Culture, Rachida Dati, also made a public statement on X saying that "no cause" could justify the targeted attack towards the Mona Lisa.

She said: "Like our heritage [the painting] belongs to future generations."

Painted between 1503 and 1519 by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, the Mona Lisa has been part of the Louvre Museum's Grand Gallery collection since the year 1804. It was previously part of the royal collection before becoming the people's property during the French Revolution.

The painting has been placed behind safety glass since the early 1950s, due to an incident with a visitor who poured acid on it.

A more transparent form of bulletproof glass was also installed by the museum in 2019 to protect the Mona Lisa.

Surprisingly enough, the act of protest by Riposte Alimentaire was not the first food attack that the painting endured.

In 2022, another activist threw cake at arguably the most famous painting in the world, urging people to "think of the Earth".

In other related news, the government of France has been receiving multiple complaints from their farmers, which have recently escalated into a series of protests, as they continuously call for higher wages and better, simplified regulations.

Just this year, French police detained almost 80 individuals after a protest which led to the protesters defying warnings from the authorities and penetrating the Rungis wholesale market outside of Paris.