Paris museum foils soup attack on painting

A young woman tried to throw soup at a painting at the world-famous Musee d'Orsay in Paris, the museum has confirmed, in a similar attack to others by climate activists in Europe.

Paris museum foils soup attack on painting
The attempted attack happened at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. Photo by PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP

The museum refused to say which painting was targeted but it is home to artwork by some of the most famous European artists including Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edouard Manet and Claude Monet.

The museum told AFP it had filed a legal complaint for the “attempt to damage a piece of work” after the female activist was intercepted on Thursday, confirming a report in Le Parisien daily.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said police had opened an investigation after the complaint.

According to Le Parisien newspaper, the woman had initially tried to approach the 1889 Van Gogh self-portrait at Saint-Remy before attempting to throw soup at a painting by Gauguin.

The daily reported she was wearing a “Just Stop Oil” T-shirt, as others have worn during similar stunts in recent weeks.

On Sunday two environmental activists glued themselves to metal poles supporting a dinosaur skeleton that was over 60 million years old at Berlin’s Natural History Museum to protest Germany’s climate policies.

And also Thursday, climate activists glued themselves to Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, Netherlands.

Environmental activists splashed tomato soup on Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” at the National Gallery in London earlier this month, while others threw mashed potato over a Monet painting at the Barberini Museum in Germany.

As the attacks multiply, French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak has urged national museums to “redouble their vigilance”.

Member comments

  1. How did she manage to get a clear shot to throw that soup?! When we were there in September there were so many people taking selfies in front of each of the paintings that we could barely see any of them! Elaine, Colorado USA

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Man shot by police in Paris after ‘threatening officers’

A man has died after being shot four times by police in central Paris on Sunday evening.

Man shot by police in Paris after 'threatening officers'

Officers opened fire in Paris’ 11th arrondissement, close to Place de la République, on Sunday evening.

Two investigations have been opened – one by Paris police into the conduct of the victim and one by police watchdog the IGPN into the actions of the officers – and the two officers were detained for questioning.

Police sources told AFP that that man had been acting in a threatening way towards the officers. 

A police source said the man “doesn’t appear to have addressed any particular words to the police but was indeed threatening”.

French media reported that the man had a handgun and had first threatened a dog with the gun. No information has been released about the victim. 

The officers were released Monday afternoon without any charges being brought “at this point”, a source in the prosecutor’s office said, adding that the man’s gun was probably a fake.

Several people who witnessed the scene are also to be questioned by investigators.

Calls have been growing in France for checks on police use of deadly force, after 13 people who allegedly refused to obey officers’ orders were killed last year.