What happened on Sunday in the Museum Barberini in Potsdam is no longer unknown – shocked when you look at it, but not necessarily less: an activist and an activist from the protest group “Last Generation” soiled a painting by Claude Monet from the series “Les Meules” ( Heuschober, 1889-1891) with a yellow liquid to persuade politicians to take tougher action on climate protection. The work hangs in the museum’s permanent exhibition and comes from the collection of the donor and multi-billionaire Hasso Plattner.
The museum has now announced that it will be closed until the end of the week. Museum director Ortrud Westheider told the German Press Agency (dpa) that they wanted to communicate with the lenders of the exhibition. The hope is to be able to open again next Monday, Reformation Day.
Hasso Plattner: Exhibitions in danger
Museum founder and art patron Hasso Plattner said: “During this time we will consider how we can increase security.” The Museum Barberini will contact all lenders immediately. Because the Museum Barberini has been showing a surrealism exhibition since Saturday, with items on loan from 50 museums and private collections. “We’ll have to wait and see how the lenders feel about this and what security measures they require from us,” Plattner continued.
In view of the ongoing attacks by climate activists in museums around the world, Plattner even sees the danger that it will become “more difficult if not impossible” to convince lenders for exhibitions in the Museum Barberini. This means that there is also a risk that exhibitions will no longer be possible beyond the permanent exhibition with around 100 works from the private collection.
Just over a week ago, environmental activists threw tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” (1888) in the National Gallery in London and demanded that Britain stop new oil and gas projects. The frame was slightly damaged during the action.
The actions of the young climate activists of the “last generation” have been going on for months now. Again and again they stick themselves to famous works of art in order to persuade politicians to take more consistent action when it comes to climate protection. In August, two activists glued themselves to a work by Lucas Cranach the Elder in the Berlin Picture Gallery and to the world-famous “Sistine Madonna” by Raphael in Dresden. There were similar actions in Florence and London, among others.
This is the updated version of a report from 10/23/2022.