The activists behind the action and members of the Riposte Alimentaire collective were arrested. On January 28, the same movement led an action at the Louvre by dousing “the Mona Lisa” with pumpkin soup. Part of the Lyon Museum of Fine Arts is closed today.
Almost two weeks after the Mona Lisa, in Paris, it is the turn of Claude Monet’s Spring to be doused with soup. This Saturday, February 10, two environmental activists from the Riposte Alimentaire collective went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon for their striking action. “This spring will be the only one we have left if we don’t react. What will our future artists paint? What will we dream of if there is no more spring? then proclaimed the two young women in front of the painting.
The “Impressionist” room of the museum was immediately closed and the national police arrested the two activists. If the 1872 painting was glazed, the museum indicates one “condition report of the painting will be carried out and followed by a restoration“. The establishment therefore filed a complaint for “Act of vandalism”. This part of the museum will not be accessible to the public this Sunday.
On social networks, the happening was widely shared and commented on. In a message broadcast on X, the environmentalist mayor of Lyon said “regret the action”. “But in the face of the climate emergency, anxiety is legitimate. We respond with resolute action”he added.
I regret the action taken today at the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon against a painting by Monet.
All my support to the teams, forced to close part of the museum.
But in the face of the climate emergency, anxiety is legitimate. We respond to it with resolute action.
— Grégory Doucet (@Gregorydoucet) February 10, 2024
On BFM TV LyonNathalie Perrin-Gilbert, Lyon culture assistant, for her part denounced “dare Actions are counterproductive for the message these activists want to send. I therefore condemn these actions. The painting will be examined by a restorer, it is not known if it is damaged […]. The window is not waterproof like there Mona Lisa“.
This morning, visitors to the museum cannot approach the impressionist works of the Museum of Fine Arts. “I was planning to go to the painting room earlier, but I’m disappointed it’s closed today. Fortunately, the painting was protected by a glass pane.“, regrets Olivier Masson. And adds: “It’s absurd, there are many other ways to get people talking about yourself. Just go out on the street with signs and claim“.
An opinion that Gabrielle Garcia, 20 years old, does not completely share: “Being in the streets doesn’t work, whereas the action of these activists is publicized, it creates a buzz, their choice is strategic. Afterwards, I think they still went far, I remain mixed about their action. Creating a work of art, instead of tackling art, would have been more relevant.”
“It’s good that they did that. The world needs to wake up. Ecology is extremely important. In addition, I find that the activists did not degrade the work, it remains the soup, the painting was protected”, says another visitor, Michael Ruben.
Filmed and published on the social networkwarn of the coming climate and social crisis”, partly due “has our failing food and agricultural system”, we are told in a press release. One of the two activists who sprayed the Monet testifies to her commitment in a video posted on X.
“My name is Ilona, I am 20 years old, and for several years, I decided to join civil resistance. Whether for me or all future generations, we must act now, before it is too late.”  pic.twitter.com/XjxlXriblD
— Riposte Alimentaire (@riposte_alim) February 10, 2024
“We love art“, further assures Food Response, “but our future artists will have nothing left to paint on a burned planet“. The collective is a continuation of Last renovation, which between April 2022 and December 2023, became known for having blocked the ring road or even spraying the facade of ministries with paint. Having become Food Response, it now intends to increase non-violent civil disobedience actions in order to“drive a radical change in society on a climatic and social level“.
The two activists responsible for the action carried out on the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum at the end of January will have to pay a citizen contribution to a victims’ aid association, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office.