Climate activists splash black liquid on Gustav Klimt’s painting in Vienna

Climate activists splash black liquid on Gustav Klimt’s painting in Vienna

Group took to its official Twitter handle to say that act was aimed to protest against govt use of fossil fuels has been contributing to pollution in Vienna.

Climate activists in Austria on Tuesday made attempts to distort the painting by Gustav Klimt in order to draw attention to climate change. Activists threw black, oily liquid at the painting, while one member glued themselves to the glass covering the painting, Guardian reported.

The 1915 painting Death and Life at the Leopold Museum in Vienna were attacked by the members of Letzte Generation Österreich (Last Generation Austria). The group took to its official Twitter handle to say that the act was motivated to protest against their government’s use of fossil fuels that has been contributing to pollution and other environmental hazards.

Activists protesting against ‘oil and gas drilling’
As the members splashed the oily liquid on the artwork it was tarnished but not completely damaged. The museum guards were seen responding to the scene and dragging away the activist. On Twitter, the group said that they were protesting against “oil and gas drilling” that was apparently a “death sentence to society.”

“We have known about the problem for 50 years – we must finally act, otherwise the planet will be broken,” the activist yelled, according to the video shared online. As the painting was targeted, soon the police were notified and the officers arrived at the museum. They cleaned the black liquid, which the activists had brought in a hot water bottle hidden under their clothes, according to the Austria Press Agency.

“I do not believe that actions like these are purposeful, because the question arises whether they do not rather lead to more lack of understanding than to more awareness of the climate catastrophe,” Austria’s culture minister Andrea Mayer was quoted saying by Guardian.

“From my point of view, accepting the risk of irrevocable damage to works of art is the wrong way to go. Art and culture are allies in the fight against climate catastrophe, not adversaries,” she added.

Museum staff told the agency that the painting was not damaged but the glass and security framing was damaged. The impact was “evident and significant” as some of the black liquid also fell on the floor, they stressed.

Hans-Peter Wipplinger, the director of the museum, told the Austrian agency that the act of the climate activists was justified as they were concerned about the environment. He stressed, that “attacking works of art is definitely the wrong way to implement the targeted goal of preventing the predicted climate collapse”.

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