Activists Throw Mashed Potatoes at Claude Monet’s 130-Year-Old Painting

In Germany, two climate activists threw mashed potatoes at a 130-year-old painting by Claude Monet. Four people were detained after the incident.

The incident took place at the Museum Barberini, an art museum in Potsdam, on Sunday, October 23, 2022. Two climate activists in orange vests threw a yellow liquid at the 1891 painting “Meules” by French impressionist painter Claude Monet. Then they glued their hands to the wall with glue and said that everyone is in a climatic catastrophe.

It soon became clear that the yellow liquid that covered almost the entire painting was mashed potatoes.

An activist group called Letzter Generation (Last Generation), which criticizes the German government’s policies towards fossil fuel production, claimed responsibility.

A similar protest was also held in London recently. On October 14, two climate activists threw tomato soup at an 1888 painting by Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh.

According to the statement made on the official Twitter account of Museum Barberini, the painting was not seriously damaged because it was glazed. However, officials and art lovers are still worried that the protests will spread around the world.

According to the German news agency DPA, four people involved in the incident were detained by German police.

The painting will be exhibited again on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, after the cleaning work.

About the Painting

“Meules” is part of a series of 25 works painted by Claude Monet between 1890 and 1891. In this series, Monet depicts harvested grain stacks in different seasons and at different times of the day, with different light angles.

Claude Monet – Meules (1891)

The painting, completed in 1891, measures 92 cm in width and 73 cm in length. Monet wanted to draw attention to the grain stacks by making use of the diagonal composition.

The painting, which was bought by German businessman Hasso Plattner for approximately 110 million dollars at an auction in 2019, has been on display at the Museum Barberini since 2020.1

  1. Monet ‘Meules’ painting sells for record $110.7 million at auction, CNBC, 14.04.2019[]

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