Policeman on piano steals the show at tense environmental standoff in German forest (VIDEO)

Policeman on piano steals the show at tense environmental standoff in German forest (VIDEO)
An on-duty police officer took time away from patrolling a tense environmental standoff in Germany’s ancient Hambach Forest, to delight onlookers with a performance on a piano that had been placed at the site.

Footage filmed by RT’s video service Ruptly on Sunday shows the officer sitting down at the roadside piano to play some tunes. It comes a day after thousands of environmental protesters descended on the 12,000-year old forest to protest its use as a potential site for an expanded coal mine.

The officer, who was supposed to be on duty patrolling the embattled forest at the time, tinkers with the ivory keys while delighted onlookers and colleagues on the force watch and record on their mobile phones.

Cheered on by the crowd, he performs several pieces of music including Yiruma's 'Kiss the Rain.'

The moment of levity came amid an ongoing battle between environmental activists and German energy giant RWE, over the latter’s desire to raze the forest so it can expand one of its open-pit coal mines, located nearby.

Workers had already commenced felling trees on the forest’s outskirts, however, a temporary stop order was issued by the higher administrative court in Muenster in an emergency session on Friday.

The court argued that more time was needed to consider the case brought against RWE by BUND, Germany's branch of Friends of the Earth, and that all felling should be suspended until a decision could be reached.

Thousands of jubilant campaigners descended on the forest on Friday to celebrate the temporary pause in a solidarity demonstration. Organizers said 50,000 people had turned out for what they called the region’s “biggest ever anti-coal rally”.

READ MORE: Greenpeace crash Superman-like drone into French nuclear plant (VIDEO)

Located near the city of Cologne in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the forest has been occupied by activists for the last six years. Attempts by police to remove activists’ treehouses, a process that took weeks, only fanned public sympathy for their cause.

RWE said Friday that they didn’t expect a final decision on the mine to be made until late 2020, an admission that then sent their share prices tumbling.

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