The Musée d’Orsay in Paris said it successfully prevented a Just Stop Oil protestor from throwing a liquid substance at a painting last Thursday, Le Parisien reports.
The protestor was allegedly a woman who wore a Just Stop Oil T-shirt under her sweatshirt. The museum said she first approached van Gogh’s iconic 1889 Self-Portrait but then attempted to throw soup at a Gauguin painting instead.
However, a security guard quickly intercepted her and made her pour out her water bottle filled with soup. The woman reportedly left before she could get arrested, but the museum has filed a complaint for attempted damage.
Following the foiled attempt, France’s Culture minister Rima Abdul Malak told Le Parisien, “How can defending the climate lead to wanting to destroy a work of art? It’s absolutely absurd.” She continued to call on museums to “redouble their vigilance.”
Since June, climate activists with the U.K.-based group Just Stop Oil, as well as ones with other groups in Italy and Germany, have been gluing themselves to the frames of famous paintings in museums. More recently, some activists have thrown various liquid substances at famous paintings. A recent protest involved throwing a can of tomato soup at a Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers in London’s National Gallery.
The protestors have thus far intentionally—and largely successfully—avoided damaging the paintings. In most cases, only the frames of the paintings have incurred damage.