Tom Slater Tom Slater

How will attacking the Mona Lisa save the planet?

Two climate protestors target the Mona Lisa (Credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Now the environmentalists are going after the Mona Lisa. Because of course they are. Just when you thought you couldn’t dislike these apocalyptic irritants anymore, now they’ve gone and pelted soup at another priceless artwork, the most famous artwork in the world no less, because they think their fever dreams about climate change are more important than ordinary people getting to marvel at da Vinci’s masterpiece.

Two activists from Riposte Alimentaire – France’s answer to Just Stop Oil, only with a particular interest in food policy – took their chance at the Louvre yesterday. After emptying a bottle of orange gloop on to the Mona Lisa, one of the women was captured on video shouting: ‘What is more important: art or the right to a healthy and sustainable diet?’ They were blocked off by screens before being removed.

Thankfully, the painting wasn’t damaged. The Mona Lisa has been behind safety glass since the 1950s, after a vandal hurled acid at it. In 2009, a Russian woman – apparently upset by the rejection of her citizenship application – threw a mug at the painting, smashing only the mug. This isn’t the first time a climate nutter has had a go, either. In 2022, a young man disguised himself as an elderly woman, so he could get close enough to smear cake over the glass, all while shouting ‘think of the planet’. 

This latest assault on the Mona Lisa speaks to the profound and increasingly violent philistinism of the climate movement. They think that their fever dreams about climate change are more important than ordinary people getting to marvel at da Vinci’s masterpiece. The similarity of this stunt to Just Stop Oil’s infamous assault on Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in 2022 is also no coincidence. As CNN reports, Riposte Alimentaire is part of the A22 Network, of which JSO is a leading member.

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