Two Activists Arrested After Sticking Posters Around “Liberty Leading The People” Painting at the Louvre

Two activists from the group Riposte Alimentaire were arrested after staging a protest Wednesday at the 1830 painting Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Video and images from the group (also known as Food Response and Food Counterattack) posted on social media show the activists applied stickers that said “resisting is vital” around the recently restored painting. The two activists, wearing white t-shirts with the words Riposte Alimentaire, chanted slogans about the need for social security for sustainable food while holding up their right hands.

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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.

The group is part of a larger coalition of protest organizations known as the A22 movement; it also includes Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil, two groups with members who have repeatedly made headlines after gluing themselves to artworks or throwing food or paint at notable art in museums.

The two individuals were charged with “willful damage” and a complaint was filed to police by a representative of the museum, according to a report in Le Monde.

A spokesperson from the Louvre told Agence France-Presse that the large artwork did not suffer any damage.

Liberty Leading the People was recently unveiled and re-exhibited by the museum on May 2 after six months of restoration work. The museum’s press release said it was “probably the most famous painting in the Louvre after The Mona Lisa.”

Members of Riposte Alimentaire have also claimed responsibility for protests involving famous artists at the Musée de Beaux-Arts in February and at the Louvre in January. Activists threw soup at Claude Monet’s 1872 work Le Printemps (Spring) and on Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

The Louvre Museum and Ripost Alimentaire did not immediately respond to requests for comment from ARTnews.


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