A group of activists threw pea soup at a Vincent van Gogh masterpiece in Rome on Friday, in a protest they say will continue until more attention is paid to the climate change.
‘The Sower’, an 1888 painting by the Dutch artist of a farmer sowing his land under a dominant sun, was exhibited under glass and in good condition.
Security intervened immediately and evacuated the kneeling demonstrators in front of “Le Semeur” at the Palais Bonaparte. Protesters from the same group, the Last Generation, had previously blocked a highway near Rome.
Four activists have been arrested, according to news reports.
This is the latest vandalism attack by environmental groups against world famous works of art.
An activist threw pea soup at Vincent van Gogh’s ‘The Sower’ in Rome on Friday
This is just the latest in a series of attacks by environmental activists targeting works of art
The vandals then stuck their hands to the wall after throwing the soup at the Palais Bonaparte in Rome
Last Generation climate activists called their protest a “desperate, scientifically based cry that cannot be understood as mere vandalism.”
“Nonviolent direct actions will continue until citizens get answers from their governments on demands to stop gas and coal and invest in at least 20 GW of renewable energy,” they said. said in a statement.
Video taken from inside a museum gallery crowded with visitors shows two young women throwing a liquid substance at the painting.
They and a third woman are then seen sticking their hands to the wall as screams erupt from the room.
A total of four activists have been arrested following the incident in Rome
The Last Generation band threw pea soup on “The Sewer” at the Palazzo Bonaparte in Rome
Security removed the protesters who were kneeling in front of the painting, after sticking their hands to the wall
Video footage showed two young women throwing a liquid substance on the board
‘For shame!’ someone in the crowd can be heard shouting.
The stunt backfired on some onlookers.
“It totally defeats the purpose,” said Hans Bergetoft, a tourist from Stockholm. “I am really for the cause in itself, but not for the action. Not the action they took. No way.’
Italy’s new culture minister, Gennaro Sangiuliano, condemned the protest.
“Attacking art is a despicable act that must be strongly condemned,” he said. “Culture, which is the basis of our identity, must be defended and protected, and certainly not used as a mouthpiece for other forms of protest.
The painting belongs to the Kroller-Muller Museum in the Netherlands and was loaned for an exhibition in the Italian capital featuring works by Van Gogh. Officials said the 1888 painting was undamaged.
Climate activists have carried out a series of attacks – using soup, cake or mashed potatoes – in Europe in recent weeks.
Last month, two protesters stuck to the ground after throwing soup at Van Gogh’s ‘sunflowers’ at the National Gallery in London.
One of the protesters said after the stunt: “Which is worth more, art or life?” before hitting the wall
The £76million artwork was ‘unscathed’ during the October 14 climate protest
They targeted masterpieces like Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” at the Louvre in Paris or Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” at the Mauritshuis in The Hague.
In October, the group Just Stop Oil threw tomato soup on Van Gogh’s “sunflowers” at the National Gallery in London.
All these paintings were covered with glass and were undamaged.
“Everything we would be entitled to see in our present and future is obscured by real and impending catastrophe, just as this pea mash covered the work in the fields…” Last Generation said in its statement. Friday.
“The Sower” is on display at the Palazzo Bonaparte in Rome, as part of an exhibition of 50 paintings by the Dutch master Van Gogh on loan from the Kroller Muller museum in Otterlo in the Netherlands.