The Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon has formally lodged a complaint following the defacement of a glazed Monet painting by two activists from “Riposte Alimentaire” on February 10. The environmentalist group was previously responsible for a similar act against the Mona Lisa.
“On Saturday, February 10th, at approximately 3:30 PM, Claude Monet’s painting, Spring, was subjected to an act of vandalism,” stated the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon through an official release. The 1872 artwork, protected by glass, will undergo a thorough condition assessment followed by necessary restoration, the museum detailed. Furthermore, the statement highlighted that legal action for vandalism is being pursued, noting the apprehension of the two culprits involved.
According to a dispatch from Riposte Alimentaire, the duo targeted the painting with soup, proclaiming, as captured in a video released by the group, “This spring will remain the only one if we fail to act. What will our future artists paint? What shall we dream of if there are no more springs?” This collective previously claimed responsibility for an incident in late January at Paris’s Louvre Museum, where the Mona Lisa, shielded behind bulletproof glass, was unharmed after an attempt to mar it with soup. The two apprehended activists are mandated to make a civic contribution to a victim support association, as per the Paris prosecutor’s office.
Riposte Alimentaire identifies itself as a “French civil resistance campaign aiming to instigate a radical societal shift on environmental and social fronts.” The group professes, “We cherish art, but our future artists will have nothing left to paint on a scorched planet.” In a message disseminated via X, Lyon’s ecological mayor expressed “regret over the incident.” However, he acknowledged, “Given the climate emergency, the anxiety is justified. We are addressing it with determined action.”