Climate Activists Throw Mashed Potatoes At A $110 Million Monet Painting
Environmental activists from the Letzte Generation (Last Generation) threw mashed potatoes at Claude Monet's painting "Les Meules" (Hayheads) at the Potsdam Barberini museum in Germany. The iconic artwork was sold for 110 million dollars in 2019.
A video posted by Letzte Generation shows two persons throwing a pot of mashed potatoes onto the painting and gluing themselves to the wall below the frame.
The incident occurred nine days after Just Stop Oil activists put tomato soup all over Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers at the National Gallery in London.
A spokesperson for the museum said the painting was protected by glass and the museum later said it did not appear to have been damaged.
"Meules" Is The Latest Painting "Attacked" By Climate Activists. Why Did They Do It?
After they smeared the painting, one of the activists made a short statement:
"People are starving, people are freezing, people are dying. (...) We are in a climate catastrophe and all you are afraid of is tomato soup or mashed potatoes on a painting. Do you know what I’m afraid of? I’m afraid because science tells us that we won’t be able to feed our families in 2050," one of the protesters said referencing a painting by Vincent Van Gogh that was attacked with a can of tomato soup by activists last week in London.
"Does it take mashed potatoes on a painting to make you listen? This painting is not going to be worth anything if we have to fight over food. When will you finally start to listen? When will you finally start to listen and stop business as usual?" she added.
The two activists, which Letzte Generation identified as Mirjam and Benjamin, were taken to jail, the group said in a tweet.
The group also said it had decided to make the USD 110 million Monet painting "the stage and the audience" to convey its message.
"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," the activists added.
This is the latest incident in a series of such actions by environmental activists. Last year, members of the Letzte Generation staged a hunger strike outside the Reichstag building in Berlin accusing the lack of political action regarding the climate emergency. Earlier this year, they glued themselves to some of Germany’s busiest motorways.
In July, climate activists in Italy glued themselves to Sandro Botticelli’s 540-year-old painting "Primavera" at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
In May, a man threw cake on Leonardo da Vinci’s "Mona Lisa," at the Louvre Museum in Paris and claimed the action was motivated by climate change and "people who are destroying the planet". None of the paintings attacked by the protesters have been reported to be hurt, though some frames suffered damage.
❗️So-called eco-activists from Letzte Generation (Last Generation) threw mashed potatoes at Claude Monet "Les Meules" painting at the #Potsdam Barberini museum in #Germany.— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) October 23, 2022
The iconic artwork was sold for $110million in 2019.
Presumably, the painting was protected by glass. pic.twitter.com/zePcadjM58