HomeWorld NewsClimate activists attack glass screen protecting Klimt painting in Vienna

Climate activists attack glass screen protecting Klimt painting in Vienna

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Climate change activists smeared and glued one of their hands to a glass partition protecting a Gustav Klimt painting at a Vienna museum on Tuesday to protest against oil drilling, on a day when admission was free thanks to sponsorship from an oil firm.

Activist group Last Generation posted footage online of a supporter pouring what it called an “oily black liquid” on the screen in front of Klimt’s “Death and Life” at the Leopold Museum, before being intercepted by a staff member while another activist apparently stuck his hand to the screen.

The episode is the last of a series of such actions by climate change activists seeking to shake public opinion spewing liquid into sticking to famous works of art in museums or the equipment that protects those works.

One of Last Generation Austria’s tweets read: “New oil and gas drilling is a death sentence for humanity.”

The group chose a day on which they will probably have saved the cost of tickets because admission to the museum was free on Tuesday, St. Leopold’s Day, thanks to the sponsorship of the Austrian oil and gas company OMV.

“Fortunately the artwork (1915) was not damaged. However, we are surprised that the Leopold Museum was the center of attention here,” said the museum’s museum director, Hans-Peter Wipplinger, at a press conference.

He added that the museum had recently increased security in light of similar attacks elsewhere.

While the museum was sympathetic to the activists’ cause, it disagreed with the means used, Wipplinger said.

He said he expected Last Generation to foot the bill for police deployment and cleanup, which he estimated at five figures in euros (dollars).

A museum spokesman said he did not know if the activists had been arrested. Vienna police were not immediately available for comment.

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