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Activism Or Vandalism:  The Discussion Is Open

Environmental activists have ventured their rage on the world’s most famous works of art to convey a strong message about runaway climate change. However, museum experts and directors call for more robust protection measures. 


In just 14 days, many groups of activists prominently attacked some of the most distinguished works of art as a part of a campaign against environmental terrorism that seeks to draw attention to what was previously called “global warming”. now “climate change”.

The list of paintings that have suffered this kind of attack is already long, and as the days go on, it gets bigger and bigger. Most of the time, these activists manage to install a theme, a question, or a message. However, the initial purpose of these actions could be diluted by the spectacular nature of the attack.


After the tomato sauce, it arrives the puré

“Protection measures are no longer enough” objected the director of the Barberini Museum in Potsdam after a group of protestants threw mashed potatoes at the famous painting “Les Meules” by Claude Monet before gluing their own hands on the wall as a way of protesting against climate change. 


The video of the attack on the impressionist masterpiece was posted on Twitter by the same organization, which urges politicians to take more drastic measures to abolish climate change. “People are starving, people are freezing, people are dying” was the speech recited by one of the activists involved in the incident. 


“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 am afraid of? I am afraid of the fact that science tells us that we will not be able to feed our families by the end of 2050”, added the other activist, whose group has organized a hunger strike in Berlin and had as well protested on one of the busiest highways in the country. 


Just Stop Oil holds a broad history of vandalism acts in Europe, it is the same organization that last June acted to the detriment of the Courtauld Gallery of London, where another two protestors got stuck to the “Fishermen in Bloom” by Vincent Van Gogh and the same one that weeks before threw tomato soup against “The Sunflowers” by the same author in the National Gallery of London.


Vandalic acts in history 

From a historical point of view, attacks against works of art in museums have some famous episodes, such as the stabbing of The Angelus by french painter Jean-François Millet in 1932 or the attacks suffered by La Gioconda -stolen and subjected to many other vandalic acts- and so, more than a hundred of works damaged.


Judging by the high number of episodes of this caliber occurring in a concise time, the expert's sentence: “By becoming habitual, the acts undoubtedly lose their strength, leaving a rather confusing message and, perhaps, playing in favor of the ones that they point out as their opponents”.

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Tags: #art #climatechange #vandalism #attacks


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