West News Wire: On Sunday, environmental activists flung mashed potatoes at a Claude Monet painting in a German museum to protest the use of fossil fuels, but the artwork was unharmed.

Two Last Generation activists approached Monet’s “Les Meules” at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam and threw a viscous material over the artwork and its gold frame. Last Generation has urged the German government to take immediate action to safeguard the planet and stop using fossil fuels.

Later, the group acknowledged via a tweet that the substance was mashed potatoes. The two activists also painted themselves to the wall next to the artwork while donning orange high-visibility vests.


“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 group wrote on Twitter, along with a video of the incident.

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

The Barberini Museum said later Sunday that because the painting was enclosed in glass, the mashed potatoes didn’t cause any damage. The painting, part of Monet’s “Haystacks” series, is expected to be back on display on Wednesday.

“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,” museum director Ortrud Westheider said in a statement.

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

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

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

Just Stop Oil activists also glued themselves to the frame of an early copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, and to John Constable’s “The Hay Wain” in the National Gallery.


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