The environmental group Riposte Alimentaire – which roughly translates to “Food Response” – said two protesters involved with their campaign were behind the vandalism.
The Louvre has since reopened the “Salle des Etats” room which houses the Mona Lisa after it was evacuated.
“Two activists from the environmental movement ‘Riposte Alimentaire’ sprayed pumpkin soup on the armoured glass protecting the Mona Lisa, this Sunday, January 28, 2024, around 10am (4aET),” a statement from the museum said.
“The Louvre’s security staff immediately intervened.”
The museum said it was lodging a complaint.
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece the Mona Lisa hangs in the Louvre museum and is arguably the most famous painting in the world, drawing millions of visitors each year who line up to pose with the small artwork, which is just over 2.5 feet tall and under 2 feet wide.
The enigmatic portrait is no stranger to both vandalism and thievery.
It was stolen in 1911 by a Louvre employee, raising its international profile, and the bottom of the canvas suffered an acid attack in the 1950s, leading the museum to beef up protective measures surrounding the work, including bulletproof glass.
In 2009, a woman angrily threw a ceramic cup at the painting, breaking the cup but leaving the painting unharmed.
Then in 2022, a visitor smeared frosting all over the Renaissance-era painting’s protective glass.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
With previous reporting by Jacqui Palumbo