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Activists throw soup at Monet's famous painting in France

Activists throw soup at Monet's famous painting in France

Image source: © Instagram
Maja Kozłowska,
12.02.2024 12:15

Activists from the environmental group Riposte Alimentaire poured soup on Claude Monet's painting 'Spring' at a museum in Lyon.

Environmental organisations that take radical actions to fight the climate crisis often receive much attention, but only sometimes for the right reasons. Just Stop Oil, Letzte Generation, Extinction Rebellion, and Riposte Alimentaire are some of the most well-known groups. While their actions have gained significant publicity, such as sticking themselves to airport tarmacs, dyeing bodies of water with fluorescent paint, or attacking precious paintings, they have also been criticised for disturbing public order and causing negative emotions.

Unfortunately, these controversial actions tend to overshadow the critical issues raised by environmental organisations, such as the exploitation of fossil fuels, the excessive release of CO2 into the atmosphere, the neglect of water ecosystems, and the world's pollution with microplastics. This radical approach to climate activism may raise questions about its effectiveness and lead to resentment towards those who want to protect the environment.

Soup tossed at Monet’s painting

Various activist groups have attacked several significant works of art in the past, including Monet's 'Mona Lisa', van Gogh's 'Sunflowers', and Monet's 'Haystacks'. Recently, another painting was vandalised by an environmental organisation.

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During a protest, activists from Riposte Alimentaire poured soup over Claude Monet's 1872 landscape painting titled 'Spring' in a museum in Lyon. The institution has released a statement confirming that an official complaint regarding the act of vandalism will be filed.

Activists explain their protest. "We love art"

Ilona and Sophie, two activists from Riposte Alimentaire, carried out the action at the museum in Lyon.

This spring will remain the only spring if we don't react. What will our future artists paint? What will we dream of if there is no more spring?

- they chanted.

After the protest, Riposte Alimentaire issued a lengthy statement on Instagram.

"Art is the most beautiful tribute to life. We love it. But our future artists will have nothing to paint on a burnt-out planet. They will no longer be dreaming in a world of multiple conflicts. We still have a choice. We must wake up and resist," emphasises the organisation, calling for rapid and radical change.

"Agriculture is responsible for 21% of national greenhouse gas emissions and contributes greatly to the deterioration of our biodiversity and the impoverishment of our soils through the massive use of inputs. This system makes farmers insecure, while consumers have less and less access to healthy and abundant food," reads the statement.

Riposte Alimentaire explains the soup incident

The group has raised an issue regarding the availability of food. The World Bank has confirmed their concerns that the cost of food is becoming unaffordable for many individuals. In certain countries like Argentina, Lebanon, and Venezuela, food price inflation has surpassed 150%.

"Riposte Alimentaire's demand is that "food should be included in the general social security system". This demand is inspired by the Sécurité Sociale de l'Alimentation collective," the activists conclude.

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