Protesters throw soup at the Mona Lisa

Climate activists battled weekend crowds at the Louvre Museum in Paris on Sunday to splash the iconic Mona Lisa with canned soup.

Footage shows two women throwing a red liquid at the painting before crossing the wooden barrier protecting it from crowds.

One of the women removes her jacket to reveal a T-shirt reading “Riposte Alimentaire,” a food sustainability activist group in France, whose name means “food response.”

“What is more important?” The second woman says to the shouting crowd. “Art or healthy sustainable food?”

Museum workers can be seen rushing to block the view of the activists and the painting.

In an emailed statement, the Louvre told NBC News that no damage was done to the painting, which has been protected under armored glass since 2005.

The “Salle des Etats” (Room of the States) where the painting is displayed was “evacuated calmly” it said, and closed for 90 minutes while the display was cleaned.

The museum will lodge a complaint, the statement added, although it was not clear whether this was to law enforcement officials or to the activist group.

The Mona Lisa, by Leonardo Da Vinci, depicts an Italian noblewoman with a mysterious smile. It is one of the world’s most famous works of art, and attracts up to 10 million visitors to the Louvre per year.

On its website, Riposte Alimentaire 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.

Some farmers threatened to converge on Paris, starting Monday, to block the main roads leading to the capital.

International galleries have increasingly become a stage for climate protestors, who target famous paintings using food and paint to draw attention to the climate crisis.

The Mona Lisa was previously targeted in 2022 by an activist who smeared cake on the painting, shouting “Artists tell you: think of the Earth. That’s why I did this.”

In 2022, activists from “Just Stop Oil,” a group attempting to pressure the U.K. government into not renewing new oil and gas licenses, threw soup over Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” at the National Gallery in London’s Trafalgar Square.

This story originally appeared on

This article was originally published on