French police have arrested two people as part of an investigation after protestors were filmed throwing soup over the Mona Lisa portrait in the Louvre.
Two women were seen throwing the liquid over Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece on Sunday morning in a stand over food distribution. The lentil soup covered the glass around the portrait but the protected painting itself was not damaged.
They shouted: 'What's more important - art or the right to healthy and sustainable food? Our agricultural system is sick! The farmers are sick."
On its website, the "Food Riposte" group said the French government is breaking its climate commitments and called for the equivalent of the country'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. They also dumped stinky agricultural waste at the gates of government offices.
🇫🇷❗️Militantes ecologistas ensuciaron este domingo el sitio donde se exhibe la Mona Lisa en el Museo del Louvre pic.twitter.com/dXI6KMPcAy
— Alejo Schapire⚡️ (@aschapire) January 28, 2024
The Mona Lisa is behind bulletproof glass and is unlikely to have been damaged by this protest. Cake was also thrown at the painting back in 2022.
In a video shared by French news agency CL Press, a woman can be seen throwing liquid from a tin on to the artwork.
She then crosses a boundary between the painting and public alongside another women, with both of them wearing a T-shirt that says Riposte Alimentaire, which translates as food response, written on the front.
Staff are later seen rushing into hide the disruption by propping up black protective panels.
The painting is consiered one of the world's most famous and expensive - being valued at $850 million.
A source as the museum said: "The lentil soup has to be cleaned off, and security has to make sure there are no more threats to the art."
New prime minister Gabriel Attal visited a farm on Sunday in the central region of Indre-et-Loire. He acknowledged farmers are in a difficult position because "on the one side we say 'we need quality' and on the other side 'we want ever-lower prices'."
"What's at stake is finding solutions on the short, middle and long term," he said, " because we need our farmers."