Climate activists have a painting by Gustav Klimt attacked in Vienna’s Leopold Museum. According to a Twitter video, a member of the group “Last Generation” poured oil on the work “Death and Life”, which was protected by glass. One of the activists also stuck his hand to the protective glass. “Fortunately, the artwork was not damaged,” said the museum’s director, Hans-Peter Wipplinger. Nevertheless, these actions cause damage to the museum scene when he thinks of the worried long-term lenders, says Wipplinger. The activists would have to pay for the cleaning and the deployment of the police, among other things. He expects a five-digit amount. “This is the wrong way to achieve a rethink in the general public,” Wipplinger continued. If the masterpiece had actually been damaged, the consequences for the activists would be hard to imagine.
The activists referred to the Austrian oil and gas group OMV, which supported an open day at the Leopold Museum on Tuesday. “People still exploring and drilling for new oil and gas have blood on their hands – sponsorship can’t wash that away,” they wrote on Twitter. Wipplinger, on the other hand, defends the cooperation with OMV: Without this support, for example, many visits by school classes would not be possible.
Climate activists have attacked several famous works of art in European museums since October alone. In Rome at the beginning of November, they smeared pea soup on Vincent van Gogh’s painting “The Sower”. After an attack on the world-famous painting “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer in the Dutch Mauritshuis art museum, three climate activists were arrested. In the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, a man and a woman poured mashed potatoes onto Claude Monet’s painting “Grainstacks” which was protected by a pane of glass. The climate protest group “Last Generation” took responsibility.