Climate protesters throw mashed potatoes at £97m Monet painting

Activists from the group Last Generation targeted Monet’s Les Meules at Potsdam’s Barberini Museum.

German climate protesters Last Generation throw mashed potatoes at £97m Monet painting Twitter/@AufstandLastGen

Climate activists threw mashed potatoes at a Monet painting in a German museum to protest against fossil fuel extraction on Sunday.

Two activists from activist group Last Generation approached Monet’s Les Meules, which has previously sold for more than £97m (US $110m), at Potsdam’s Barberini Museum and threw a thick substance over it.

The group later confirmed via a post on Twitter that the mixture was mashed potatoes, and called on the German government to take action to protect the climate and stop using fossil fuels.

The pair of activists, both wearing orange high-vis vests, also glued themselves to the wall below the painting.

Their tweet said: “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!”

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

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

Two supporters of Just Stop Oil threw soup over Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.Just Stop Oil

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

The Barberini Museum said late that, as the painting was enclosed in glass, the mashed potatoes did not cause any damage.

The painting is expected to be back on display on Wednesday.

Museum director Ortrud Westheider said: “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.”

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

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