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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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Popular Indian singer Pankaj Udhas no more

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Popular ghazal and playback singer – Pankaj Udhas has passed away aged 72. 

The Udhas family confirmed his death on Monday was due to a prolonged illness.

Taking to Instagram, Pankaj Udhas’ daughter Nayaab shared a statement on Instagram which read, “With a heavy heart, we are saddened to inform you of the sad demise of Padmashri Pankaj Udhas on 26th February 2024 due to a prolonged illness.”

He had passed away around 11am at the Breach Candy hospital, Indian media reports citing a family source.

 His last rites will be held on Tuesday. 

Pankaj is survived by wife Farida Udhas, daughters Nayaab and Reva Udhas, and brothers Nirmal and Manhar Udhas, who are also singers.

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Laugfs Gas prices to remain unchanged too

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LAUGFS Gas PLC has also decided not to revise the prices of domestic LP gas cylinders for the month of February 2024.

Accordingly, the current prices are as follows:
12.5kg cylinder – Rs. 4,740 
5kg cylinder – Rs. 1,900

The announcement comes hours after Litro Gas Lanka stating that they will not revise gas prices this month.

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Actress Poonam Pandey passes away

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Actress and model Poonam Pandey has passed away last night (Feb. 01) due to cervical cancer at the age of 32, according to her team who posted the news of her death on her Instagram handle.

Poonam made her feature film debut with Nasha, an erotic drama that was released in 2013. She made cameo appearances in films such as Love Is Poison (Kannada) and Aa Gaya Hero (Hindi). The actress also headlined the Telugu movie Malini & Co and The Journey of Karma.

She was also part of the television reality competition series Lock Upp.

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