German climate activists throw mashed potatoes at $110m Monet painting
On Sunday, two climate activists threw mashed potatoes at a Monet painting worth tens of millions of dollars at a museum in Potsdam, Germany.
The activist couple from Letzte Generation – German for « last generation » – doused the 130-year-old work « Les Meules » by Oscar-Claude Monet with yellow-tinted mash, then is stuck to the wall of the Barberini museum, video posted on social media showed.
“People are starving, people are freezing, people are dying. We are in a climate catastrophe,” protester Mirjam Herrmann shouted after sealing her hand against the wall, according to Der Tagesspeigel.
« Science says we won’t be able to feed our families by 2050, » Hermann told viewers. « This painting will be worth nothing if we have to fight for food. »
Sunday’s incident followed a similar protest in London where two members of a group called ‘Just Stop Oil’ splashed a can of Heinz tomato soup over Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’, worth £85million of dollars.
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.
« 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! » Letzte Generation tweeted on Sunday.
Both paintings were unharmed by the culinary appeal, according to museum officials.
Monet’s « Meules » sold for $111 million to Barberini museum patron Hasso Plattner in 2019, Der Taggesspeigel said.
A museum official told the outlet that protesters’ hands « come off the wall relatively easily. »
« While I understand the urgency of activists in the face of climate catastrophe, I am shocked by the ways in which they try to lend weight to their claims, » museum director Ortrud Westheider said in a statement.
Left-wing government officials in Potsdam and the German state of Brandenburg condemned the action.
“The fight against the climate crisis is not strengthened by attacks on famous paintings,” said Ursula Nonnemacher, leader of the Brandenburg Greens party. posted on Twitter. « On the contrary, we need a broad social consensus. »
With post wires