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Paris museum says painting was target of attempted attack

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

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”.