Claude Monet has become the next artist in a string of protests by climate change activists. On the 23rd of October, two demonstrators from the Letze Generation (Last Generation) threw mashed potatoes over Monet’s Les Meules (Haystacks) before glueing their hands to the wall at Museum Barberini in Potsdam.
The protest comes nine days after tomato soup was hurled at Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers by Just Stop Oil at the National Gallery in London.
“All you are afraid of is tomato soup or mashed potatoes on a painting. You know what I’m afraid of? I’m afraid because science tells us that we won’t be able to feed our families in 2050,” said the protester in the video. “Does it take mashed potatoes on a painting to make you listen? This painting is not going to be worth anything if we have to fight over food. When will you finally start to listen?”.
The Letze Generation have previously staged a hunger strike outside the Reichstag building in Berlin and glued themselves to Germany’s busiest motorways to protest the lack of political action around the climate emergency. The Monet painting is worth around £100 million, and was said to be protected by glass and undamaged after the latest protest by the group.
The video was shared on Twitter, stating that “Monet loved nature and captured its fragile beauty in his works,” they wrote. “Why are many more afraid of one of these images being damaged than of the destruction of our world itself?”.
The group have shared on their website that they will be comfortable in “facing this reality, we accept high [fines], criminal charges and deprivation of liberty undaunted”.