German climate protesters attack $110 million Monet painting as Van Gogh soup activists spur copycats

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Another group of activists has attacked a world-famous painting with food.

Two protesters from the climate activist group Letzte Generation completed the stunt at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, Germany, on Sunday, following another similar stunt just days earlier in London, when “Just Stop Oil” protesters threw tomato soup into the street. iconic painting Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh. .

The object in Potsdam was “Les Meules”, or “Haystacks”, by Monet, which was painted in 1890 and sold at auction in 2019 for over $110 million. On Sunday, protesters covered him in mashed potatoes, then taped their hands to the wall and delivered their message to a camera; the group uploaded the images to Twitter soon after.

“People are starving, people are freezing, people are dying,” protesters said in the video.

“We are in a climate catastrophe and the only thing you are afraid of is tomato soup or mashed potatoes in a box.”

“Do you know what I’m afraid of? I’m scared because science tells us that we won’t be able to feed our families by 2050. Does it take mashed potatoes in a painting for you to listen? If we have to fight over food, when will you finally start listening and stop doing the same old thing?

Museum director “shocked” by incident

Museum director Ortud Westheider said in a statement: “While I understand the urgent concern of activists in the face of climate catastrophe, I am surprised by the means by which they try to give weight to their demands.

“It is in the works of the Impressionists that we see the intense artistic engagement with nature.”

A post-incident investigation found that the painting itself had suffered no damage, as it was protected by glass. The two activists were charged with trespassing and property damage.

Letze Generation has performed multiple stunts in Germany in recent years, attracting attention from across the country for a hunger strike in Berlin in 2021, and beating themselves busy highways at the beginning of this year.

Artworks seem to have become a favorite target for such actions. This summer, Italian activists stuck to Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and Just Stop Oil activists also stuck to the frame of The Last Supper at London’s Royal Academy.

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