Police arrested two German protesters who, in an attempt to draw attention to the dangers of climate change, threw mashed potatoes on Sunday at a Claude Monet painting that once sold for more than $110 million.
Authorities said they were investigating the protesters, who were not named, over property damage and trespassing after the incident at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, the state capital of Brandenburg, about 20 miles southwest of Berlin.
An Immediate Conservation Inquiry found thatPiles of grainDrawn by Monet in 1890, which Sold for $110.7 million at the 2019 auction, and it was not damaged by the stunt, because it is located behind a layer of protective glass, Museum said In a statement on Twitter. The painting will be back on display by Wednesday, Museum added.
A spokesman for the Brandenburg State Police did not immediately respond to a question about why the protesters were being investigated for property damage given that the painting was unharmed.
video A post on the Twitter account of ‘The Last Generation’, the German climate group claiming responsibility, shows two protesters throwing mashed potatoes at the plate and then kneeling in front of it, apparently sticking their hands against the wall.
The trick was similar to one This month At the National Gallery in London, two protesters from Britain’s Just Stop Oil group threw what appeared to be tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers,” which sold for nearly $40 million in 1987, in protest of cost of living crisis. According to the museum, that painting was also behind a protective glass and was unharmed.
On Sunday, German activists cited the UK protest as carrying out their own protest.
“We are in a climate disaster. All you fear is tomato soup or mashed potatoes on a plate,” one protester said, according to an English-subtitled version of the video.
“This plate will be worth nothing if we have to fight over food,” the protester adds.
a This year’s report By the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he warned that urgent action was needed to “secure a livable future” in the face of climate change, which is already exacerbating food and water insecurity, and weather events such as heat waves, droughts and floods, according to for the report.
The last generation on Twitter posted a video of Sunday’s incident with the caption: “We’re making this #Monet on stage and audience for audience. If it takes a panel – with #MashedPotatoes or #TomatoSoup – to make society remember that the fossil fuel cycle is killing us all: then we’ll give you #mashed potatoes on a plate!”
Empathizing with the protesters’ concerns, Ortrud Westheider, the museum’s director, said in a statement, “I am shocked by the means by which they are trying to increase their demands.”
“In the works of the Impressionists we see the intense artistic engagement with nature,” added Westheider, referring to the 19th century art movement of which Monet’s work is a part.
“Grainstacks” is one of a series of 25 paintings in which Monet painted heaps of grain in the fields near his home in Giverny, France, in different lighting and weather conditions, According to the museum.
Born in 1840, Monet was a leading French Impressionist landscape painter, According to the National Gallery.
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