Climate Protestors Throw Soup at Monet Painting at French Museum


Two climate protestors threw soup at a Claude Monet painting at the Musee de Beaux-Arts in Lyon, France, on Saturday afternoon.

The target of the environmental activists was Monet’s 1872 work Le Printemps (Spring). While the painting was protected by glass, the museum told Le Monde that it would “still undergo a close inspection and restoration.”

The Musee de Beaux-Arts also told Le Monde that it would file a complaint for vandalism, and that the two activists had been arrested.

Related Articles

A group of people in a large hall stand around a bright green and yellow banner that says DROP BP in the style of the BP logo, which resembled an angular sun or flower.

The protestors had written on their T-shirts the words Riposte Alimentaire (Food Response), the same group that threw soup at the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris earlier this year.

A video of the Lyon event posted by Riposte Alimentaire shows two individuals, identified as Ilona and Sophie, splashing soup on the Monet and raising their right hands`.

“This spring will be the only one we have left if we don’t react,” the protestors say. “What will our future artists paint? What will we dream of if there is no more spring?”

On X, Riposte Alimentaire wrote that it loved art. “But our future artists will have nothing left to paint on a burned planet,” the group wrote. “They will no longer dream, in a world of multiple conflicts. We still have a choice. We must wake up and resist.”

Lyon’s mayor, Grégory Doucet, acknowledged the protest in a post on X. While he expressed regret about it, and gave his support to the staff who were forced to close part of the museum, Doucet also said, “But faced with the climate emergency, anxiety is legitimate. We respond to it with resolute action.”

On its website, Riposte Alimentaire calls for a sustainable supply of healthy food for all through a variety of proposals, including monthly food cards, a transformation of the country’s agricultural model, and a “ensuring a dignified life” for farmers.

Riposte Alimentaire is part of a larger coalition of protest groups known as the A22 movement; that coalition also includes Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil, two groups with members who have in the past couple years glued themselves to artworks and tossed food at pieces in museums.

Prior to Saturday’s protest, environmental activists in Germany had flung mashed potatoes at the 1890 work Meules (Haystacks) while it was on loan to the Museum Barberini in October 2022. The painting was was bought at auction by ARTnews Top 200 Collector Hasso Plattner in 2019 for $110.7 million. Meules was also protected by glass.

Last June, two climate activists smeared red paint and glued their hands to the protective glass on Monet’s The Artist’s Garden at Giverny (1900) while it was on display at the National Museum in Stockholm. It was being shown as part of the exhibition “The Garden – Six Centuries of Art and Nature” through a loan from from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, which acquired it in 1983.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *