Climate protesters throw mashed potatoes at a Monet painting


It did not cause any damage to the artwork.

Last generation climate protesters after throwing mashed potatoes at Claude Monet’s painting ‘Les Meules’ at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam on Sunday, October 24, 2022, in protest against fossil fuel extraction. Last generation via AP

BERLIN (AP) — Climate protesters threw mashed potatoes at a Claude Monet painting in a German museum on Sunday to protest fossil fuel extraction, but caused no damage to the work.

Two activists from the group Last Generation, which has called on the German government to take drastic measures to protect the climate and stop using fossil fuels, approached Monet’s ‘Meules’ at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam and threw a substance thick on the table and its gold frame.

The group later confirmed via a post on Twitter that the mixture was mashed potatoes. The two activists, both dressed in high-visibility orange vests, also stuck to the wall below the painting.

“If it takes a board – with #MashedPotatoes or #TomatoSoup thrown at it – for society to remember that fossil fuel prices are killing us all: then we’ll give you #MashedPotatoes on a board!” the group wrote on Twitter, along with a video of the incident.

A total of four people were involved in the incident, according to German news agency dpa.

The Barberini Museum said later on Sunday that because the painting was encased in glass, the mashed potatoes caused no damage. The painting, part of Monet’s “Haystacks” series, is due to go on display again on Wednesday.

“While I understand the urgency of activists in the face of climate catastrophe, I am shocked by the ways in which they try to lend weight to their claims,” ​​museum director Ortrud Westheider said in a statement.

Police told dpa they had responded to the incident, but further information on the arrests or charges was not immediately available.

Monet’s painting is the latest artwork from a museum to be targeted by climate activists to draw attention to global warming.

Earlier this month, British group Just Stop Oil threw tomato soup on Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ at the National Gallery in London.

Just Stop Oil campaigners also stuck to the frame of an early copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and John Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’ at the National Gallery.


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