Monet painting “Meules” (“Haystacks”) wasn’t damaged, in the latest food-based activist protest stunt.
The climate activist group Letzter Generation (Last Generation) visited the Museum Barberini, just outside Berlin. Once inside, they put on workvests, and threw a viscous yellow liquid onto a Monet painting before gluing their hands to the floor in front of it and delivering their message.
“People are starving, people are freezing, people are dying. We are in a climate catastrophe. And the only thing you’re afraid of is tomato soup or mashed potatoes on a painting,” the young woman said, alluding to numerous similar protests happening recently.
“Do you know what I’m afraid of? That science says that we will not be able to feed our families in 2050. Does it take mashed potatoes on a painting to make you listen? This painting will be worth nothing when we are fighting over food. When is the point that you will finally listen and not just carry on as before?,” she continued.
“We make this #Monet the stage and the public the audience,” tweeted the group of young activists.
“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!”
The protesters who threw the alleged mashed potatoes were arrested by German police. A spokeswoman for the museum could not immediately rule out that the Monet painting had been damaged, but like every other work of art Last Generation has targeted, it was behind glass. Experts have since said that the Monet painting was not harmed.
Last Generation and other groups using similar tactics have said their goal is to generate discussion. To keep people talking about the climate and the extremes to which people may soon be forced. The group has also been targeting traffic, gluing themselves to roads and highways or just sitting in front of vehicles.