German climate change activists splash mashed potatoes on a Monet painting
On Sunday, two activists sprayed a painting by Claude Monet in a German museum in protest against climate change.
The two Last Generation activists can be seen in a video throwing a thick substance at Monet’s ‘The Haystacks’ at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, then sticking their hands to the wall below the painting.
The group later confirmed that the mixture was mashed potatoes.
“We make this #Monet the state and the public the public,” the band later tweeted, along with a video of the incident. « 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! »
A total of four people were involved in the incident, according to German news agency dpa.
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The Barberini Museum said later on Sunday that because the painting was encased in glass, the mashed potatoes caused no damage. The painting, part of Monet’s « Haystacks » series, is due to go on display again on Wednesday.
« 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.
Police told dpa they had responded to the incident. Last Generation tweeted later on Sunday that the activists, « Mirjam and Benjamin », had been taken to jail without further details.
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.
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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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.