Climate protesters throw mashed potatoes at a Monet painting


Climate protesters threw mashed potatoes at a Claude Monet painting in a German museum on Sunday to protest fossil fuel extraction, and it was unclear whether the protest had caused any damage long term to the work of art.

Two activists from the group Last Generation, which has called on the German government to take drastic action to protect the climate and stop using fossil fuels, approached Monet’s ‘Meules’ at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam and threw a thick substance on the board and its gold frame.

The group later confirmed via a post on Twitter that the mixture was mashed potatoes. The two activists, both dressed in high-visibility orange vests, also stuck to the wall below the painting.

« If it takes a board – with .MashedPotatoes or .TomatoSoup thrown at it – for society to remember that fossil fuel prices are killing us all: then we’ll give you .MashedPotatoes on a board! » the group wrote on Twitter, along with a video of the incident.

A total of four people were involved in the incident, according to German news agency dpa.

A spokesperson for the Barberini museum told dpa that the museum has not yet determined whether the painting, which is part of Monet’s « Haystacks » series, could have sustained long-term damage.

Police told dpa they had responded to the incident, but further information on the arrests or charges was not immediately available.

Monet’s painting is the latest artwork from a museum to be targeted by climate activists to draw attention to global warming.

British band Just Stop Oil threw tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ at London’s National Gallery earlier this month.

Just Stop Oil campaigners also stuck to the frame of an early copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and John Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’ at the National Gallery.


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