german climate change activists splash mashed potatoes on monet painting

A pair of activists on Sunday doused a Claude Monet painting in a German museum to protest climate change.  

The two activists from the group, Last Generation, can be seen in a video throwing a thick substance over Monet’s “Les Meules” at Potsdam’s Barberini Museum, then gluing their hands to the wall below the painting. 

The group later confirmed that the mixture was mashed potatoes. 

“We make this #Monet the state and the public the audience,” the group later tweeted, along with a video of the incident. “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!” 

Climate change activists vandalizing a painting to bring awareness to climate change.  (Letzte Generation)

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

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The Barberini Museum said later Sunday that because the painting was enclosed in glass, the mashed potatoes didn’t cause any damage. The painting, part of Monet’s “Haystacks” series, is expected to be back on display on Wednesday.

“While I understand the activists’ urgent concern in the face of the climate catastrophe, I am shocked by the means with which they are trying to lend weight to their demands,” museum director Ortrud Westheider said in a statement.

Police told dpa they had responded to the incident. Last Generation tweeted later Sunday that the activists, “Mirjam and Benjamin,” have been taken to jail without further details. 

After throwing mashed potatoes onto the painting, the climate change activists glued their hand to the wall. 

After throwing mashed potatoes onto the painting, the climate change activists glued their hand to the wall.  (Letzte Generation)

The Monet painting is the latest artwork in a museum to be targeted by climate activists to draw attention to global warming.

The British group Just Stop Oil threw tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in London’s National Gallery earlier this month.

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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