Eco-vandals target another historic painting
German climate activists vandalized one of Claude Monet’s ‘Haystacks’ paintings with mashed potatoes on Sunday, before gluing their hands to the gallery wall. The stunt came a week after British eco-warriors defaced Vincent van Gogh’s iconic ‘Sunflowers’.
Two activists from a group calling itself Letzte Generation (Last Generation) entered the Museum Barberini in Potsdam and slung handfuls of mashed potatoes over the painting, which is displayed behind protective glass.
“People are starving, people are freezing, people are dying,” one of the activists shouted. “If it takes pelting a painting with mashed potato or tomato soup to remind society that the fossil course is killing us all, then we give you mashed potato on a painting.”
#Kartoffelbrei auf #Monet:Was ist mehr wert #FürAlle – Kunst oder Leben?Monet liebte die Natur und hielt ihre fragile Schönheit in seinen Werken fest.Warum haben viele mehr Angst davor, dass eines dieser Abbilder Schaden nimmt, als vor der Zerstörung unserer Welt selbst? pic.twitter.com/0Rh1ZS6yjk— Letzte Generation (@AufstandLastGen) October 23, 2022
A spokeswoman for the museum told reporters that experts are currently investigating whether the painting suffered any damage. Police arrived on the scene quickly and the protesters were dislodged from the wall “relatively easily,” she added.
The painting is one of 25 in Monet’s ‘Haystacks’ series, which were painted by the legendary impressionist between 1890 and 1901. The entry in the series on display in Potsdam was bought from a private owner for $110.7 million in 2019.
Sunday’s protest came just over a week after two British activists entered London’s National Gallery and doused Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ in tomato soup. The activists, members of a group called ‘Just Stop Oil’, also glued themselves to a wall and issued a similar invective against fossil fuels.
The British group has caused outrage by defacing multiple artworks in recent months, and by blocking bridges and intersections in London.
Both Letzte Generation and Just Stop Oil are financed by the Climate Emergency Fund, a foundation started by billionaire oil heiress Aileen Getty and run by Trevor Neilson, an investor with ties to controversial philanthropists Bill Gates and George Soros.