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Madrid (AFP) – Two activists stuck their hands on Saturday in the frame of two Goya paintings in the Prado museum in Madrid, the latest in a series of dramatic actions by environmental groups against famous paintings to denounce the inaction of the authorities in the face of global warming.
The paintings in question, “The Naked Maja” and “The Clothed Maja” by the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), were not damaged, although the people who carried out the action painted “+1.5°C” on the wall between the two paintings, referring to the global warming goal that the international community has committed to and which experts say is likely to be missed.
In a video uploaded to the internet by Extinction Rebellion, an environmental group that often carries out civil disobedience actions, the two activists, from the affiliated group “Futuro Vegetal”, are seen with one hand each glued to a painting on one of the museum rooms.
Some of the visitors rebuked them and yelled “Get out!” Before museum security officials stopped them, they asked witnesses not to record the scene.
The girls were later arrested, police told AFP.
This action is a “sign of protest” against the “increase in global temperature, which will cause an unstable climate with serious consequences throughout the planet,” the group stressed in a statement.
The protest action was denounced by the Spanish government. This “act of vandalism” produces a “generalized repudiation”, the Spanish Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta, said on Twitter. “There is no cause that justifies attacking everyone’s heritage,” he said.
The Prado also condemned the actions of the two young women in a statement: “We reject endangering cultural heritage as a means of protest,” said the museum, which shortly after reopened the room to the public.
Different environmental groups have organized similar actions in several European countries against important paintings by masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, Vermeer and Van Gogh.
In October the group Just Stop Oil! dumped tomato soup on Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” at the National Gallery in London.
On Friday, militants in Rome threw soup at a Van Gogh protected by glass.
The paintings, protected by glass, have not been damaged.
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