Two climate activists stuck their hands to the frames of paintings by Spanish artist Francisco Goya at Madrid’s Prado museum on Saturday – the latest protesters of iconic artworks have targeted a series of vandalism activists intend to draw attention to climate change – although their tactics have drawn condemnation from the art world.
Officials of the Prado Museum said the protesters caused “minor imperfections” to the frames but no damage to the paintings themselves, and condemned the act in a tweet, saying “we reject the endangerment of cultural heritage as a means of protest”.
The two protesters, who are part of a militant organization Extinction Rebellion, stuck their hands to Goya’s “The Naked Maja” and “The Clothed Maja”, writing on the wall “1.5 [degrees Celsius]– a reference to the monumental goal set out in the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
It’s the latest iconic painting targeted in recent climate protests, starting with the infamous “Leonardo da Vinci”.mona-lisa”, which a climate change protester smeared with cake in March before being attacked by security at the Louvre museum in Paris and stoppedallegedly shouted “there are people who are destroying the planet”, according to a translation of The arts journal.
In July, protesters glued their hands to 15th-century Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli”Primaverain Florence, Italy, calling the pro “a new season of action.”
Two activists were stopped after watering the “Sunflowers(1887) in tomato soup on October 17, while sticking their hands to the wall below, not damaging the painting but renewing widespread criticism of the protest, with posts on Twitter the calling”repugnant” and “more than stupid.”
On October 23, German climate activists threw mashed potatoes at Claude Monet’s $110 million painting “muels(1890) – museum officials said the painting was undamaged, while the two activists from the climate activism organization Letzte Generation were taken to jail, the group said.
Four days later, three activists were arrested at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, Netherlands, when a man wearing a ‘Just Stop Oil’ t-shirt tried to stick his hand over the iconic ‘A girl with an earringwhile another poured tomato soup on the board.
On Friday, four activists from the Ultima Generazione group threw pea soup at van Gogh’s 1888 painting”the sowerat the Palazzo Bonaparte museum in Rome, and while museum officials said the painting’s glass screen protected it from harm, Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano condemned it, saying culture should not be “used as a megaphone for other forms of protest”.
Activists, however, have argued that the devastating effects scientists predict climate change will have outweigh any damage a priceless painting could suffer during the protests. Phoebe Plummer, one of the activists who threw soup on van Gogh’s ‘sunflowers’, asked in a statement, “Is art worth more than life? More than food? More than justice? adding “we will look back and mourn all we have lost unless we act immediately”. For years, scientists have warned that runaway climate change caused by rising fossil fuel emissions would have a catastrophic effect on the planet. Last month, a UN report warned that under current conditions, the global temperature will rise by up to 2.9 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, nearly double the 1.5 degree increase targeted in the Paris Agreement on climate change. climate. “Everything we would be entitled to see in our present and our future is obscured by real and impending catastrophe, just as this pea mash has covered” campaigners from The last generation said.
A video uploaded by the Spanish militant group Extinction Rebellion Granada showed the protesters sticking their hands to the paintings as museum officials approached, Tweeter “1.5 [degrees Celsius] is dead but long live the Majas, of course. We will drown but [The Majas paintings] will always be there to remind us how good he was lying by the time the crash came.