Climate protestors pelt $110M Monet painting with mashed potatoes – National

In yet another food-related protest, climate activists threw mashed potatoes at a US$110.7-million Claude Monet painting in a German museum on Sunday.

Monet’s Les Meules (Haystacks) at Museum Barberini in Potsdam was the target of the protest by the group Letzte Generation (Last Generation), which calls for greater environmental protection and the halting of fossil fuels.

The protest came just nine days after activists from Just Stop Oil splashed tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers in London, England.

Click to play video: '‘Art or life?’ Anti-oil activists throw tomato soup over Van Gogh painting in London'

‘Art or life?’ Anti-oil activists throw tomato soup over Van Gogh painting in London

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In Germany, two Last Generation protestors dressed in high visibility orange vests threw the runny mashed potatoes over the artwork and glued their hands to the wall below.

“People are starving, people are freezing, people are dying,” said Mirjam Herrmann in German. “We are in a climate catastrophe, and all you are afraid of is tomato soup or mashed potatoes on a painting.”

As buzz in the gallery erupted, Herrmann, 25, continued her speech.

“You know what I’m afraid of? I’m afraid because science tells us that we won’t be able to feed our families by 2050.”

Herrmann openly questioned what it will take for people to start paying greater attention to the climate emergency.

“This painting is not going to be worth anything if we have to fight over food,” she said.

Last Generation shared video of the protest to Twitter, writing “If it takes a painting — with #MashedPotatoes or #TomatoSoup thrown at it — to make society remember that the fossil fuel course is killing us all: then we’ll give you #MashedPotatoes on a painting!”

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The Associated Press reported four people were involved in the incident.

Museum Barberini later claimed Monet’s Haystacks was unharmed by the protest, as the painting is encased in glass. The artwork, which was temporarily removed from the gallery, will be back on display Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Last Generation, Aimée van Baalen, claimed Monet’s love of nature and ability to capture “fragile beauty” made his painting the ideal stage for the protest.

“How can it be that so many are more afraid that one of these images of reality will be damaged than of the destruction of our world itself, whose magic Monet admired so much?” she said.

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“We must not lose ourselves in the idyll on the screen, but must face reality! There will be no time to admire art when we fight each other over food and water!”

German Police have not publicly disclosed if the protesters were arrested or if any charges were pressed against them.

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This — and the tomato soup splashed at van Gogh’s Sunflowers — aren’t the only instances of art being used to stage an environmental protest.

In July, Just Stop Oil protesters glued themselves to John Constable’s painting The Hay Wain at the National Gallery. They covered the painting from 1821 with a barren reimagining of the landscape.

Just Stop Oil protesters have also glued themselves to several other paintings this year, including van Gogh’s Peach Trees in BlossomThomson’s Aeolian Harp by JMW Turner and a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper

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