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Protesters throw soup on Mona Lisa

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Environmental protesters have thrown soup at the glass-protected Mona Lisa in France, calling for the right to “healthy and sustainable food”.

The 16th Century painting by Leonardo da Vinci is one of the world’s most famous artworks, and is held at the Louvre in central Paris.

The Louvre said the work was behind protective glass and was not damaged.

Video shows two female protesters wearing T-shirts that read “food counterattack” throwing the liquid.

They then stand in front of the painting, saying: “What is more important? Art or the right to healthy and sustainable food?

“Your agricultural system is sick. Our farmers are dying at work,” they add.

Museum security are then seen putting black screens in front of them before the room is evacuated.

A group called Riposte Alimentaire (Food Counterattack) claimed responsibility for the stunt.

In a statement posted to X, formerly Twitter, it said the protest was part of efforts to integrate “food into the general social security system”.

It said that the current model for food “stigmatises the most precarious and does not respect our fundamental right to food”.

The group called for a food card worth €150 (£128) to be given to citizens each month to be used on food.

The Louvre said that members of Riposte Alimentaire, which it described as an environmental movement, sprayed pumpkin soup on the painting at around 10:00 local time (09:00 GMT), and that there was no damage.

It said the Salle des Etats, where the work is displayed, was evacuated, and reopened to visitors at 11:30 after cleaning was carried out.

“The museum will lodge a complaint,” it added.

Rachida Dati, France’s Minister for Culture, said “no cause” could justify the Mona Lisa being targeted.

“Like our heritage [the painting] belongs to future generations,” she said on X.

The French capital has seen protests by farmers in recent days, calling for an end to rising fuel costs and for regulations to be simplified – on Friday they blocked key roads in and out of Paris.

The Mona Lisa has been behind safety glass since the early 1950s, when it was damaged by a visitor who poured acid on it.

In 2019, the museum said it had installed a more transparent form of bulletproof glass to protect it.

In 2022, an activist threw cake at the painting, urging people to “think of the Earth”.

The painting was stolen from the Louvre in 1911, causing an international sensation. Vincenzo Peruggia, an employee of the world’s most visited museum, hid in a cupboard overnight to take the painting.

It was recovered two years later when he tried to sell it to an antiques dealer in Florence, Italy.

(BBC News)

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Alka Yagnik diagnosed with “rare sensory hearing loss

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Veteran Bollywood singer Alka Yagnik, who revealed that she has been diagnosed with a “rare sensory hearing loss” due to a viral attack, has suffered a type of hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways that transmit sound from the ear to the brain.

According to Dr Manish Munjal, Vice Chairman, ENT, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, sudden sensory hearing loss is a medical emergency as it can become irreversible if not aggressively treated in 48-72 hours.

“The centre of the problem is the inner ear organ called Cochlea, where it happens due to damage to the hair cells,” Munjal told IANS on Tuesday.

The causes may range from simple viruses like Herpes, Varicella, and Mumps or sudden loud exposure to noise levels above 85 decibel (dB).

Munjal also mentioned that this disorder may also result from more serious causes like painkiller overdose, chemotherapy, tumour compression, meningitis and stroke.

“The need of the hour is usually to rush to an ENT specialist to get the necessary ear examination done as well as get an audiometry test. Once diagnosed, the treatment may require a cocktail of antivirals, oral and intratympanic steroids, as well as rest from noisy environments,” he stated.

According to the doctor, once the treatment is initiated, the chances of recovery are usually 70 per cent and above.

The disorder affects only 1 per cent in bilateral ears as compared to single ear, Munjal noted.

(IANS)

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Senaka Batagoda further restrained from singing 7 songs

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The Colombo Commercial High Court has further extended a court order preventing popular singer – Senaka Batagoda from singing 07 songs.

The order was issued after the relevant case was taken up again yesterday (June 18).

The seven songs which was restrained under the enjoining order are “Api Kavuruda”, “Api Senasille”, “Alu Yata Gini”, “Rastha”, “Heena Walata Panak Thiyenawa”, “Senasuma” and “Hodama de”.

The case is over a complaint filed under the Intellectual Property Act by musician Janath Kulathilake who was the combined lyrics, melody and music composer of those seven songs sung by Senaka Batagoda.

The case will be taken up again on August 23.

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Court restrains Senaka Batagoda from singing 7 songs

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Pixar’s Inside Out 2 sees record opening weekend

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Pixar’s Inside Out 2 has broken box office records over the weekend as it brought in an estimated $295m (£232.6m) around the world.

That makes it the strongest global opening by an animated film of all time, parent company Disney said.

In North America, ticket sales hit about $155m, dethroning Dune: Part Two as the holder of this year’s top box office opening weekend.

It marks a big win for cinemas, which have seen lacklustre box office takings for some new movies this year.

Inside Out 2’s first weekend was much stronger than the original movie, which brought in $90m in its opening weekend before going on to gross $858m worldwide.

It was the second-best opening for the company in the North American market, just behind the 2018 release of The Incredibles 2.

The blockbuster opening weekend is a boost for Pixar after relatively weak opening performances from some of its recent releases.

Inside Out 2 is the first sequel of the 2015 Oscar-winning hit, which focused on the emotions of a young girl called Riley.

While the original was about feelings like joy, fear and anger the latest instalment tackles issues such as envy and anxiety.

Inside Out 2’s successful opening is a bright spot in what has so far been a slow start to summer for film companies.

A large part of annual ticket sales usually take place in the period from the first weekend in May to the start of September.

However, strikes by actors and screenwriters last year has meant that fewer films were ready for release this year.

The industry has also had to contend with streaming services for both content and customers.

The number of cinema tickets sold in North America so far this year is down by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2023, according to media market research company Comscore.

(BBC News)

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