Environmentalists in Vienna deface Gustav Klimt’s 1915 ‘Death and Life’ painting with ‘black oily liquid’

Climate activists in Austria defaced a famous painting in a Vienna museum on Tuesday, in a series of protests recently targeting expensive works of art to call for action against fossil fuels.

Members of an activist group called Last Generation posted photos and video online Tuesday of a protester pouring a “black, oily liquid” over Gustav Klimt’s “Death and Life” painting before security intervened at the Leopold Museum. . Another activist can be seen trying to cling to the protective barrier in front of the painting.

“Drilling for new oil and gas is the death sentence for humanity,” the latter tweeted after the stunt.

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Climate protesters threw black liquid on Gustav Klimt "Death and life" The painting went on display at the Vienna Museum on Tuesday. "People still have blood on their hands exploring and drilling for new oil and gas - and sponsorship money will never wash that blood away." The activist group said. "There can be no clean art with dirty money!"

Climate protesters threw a black liquid on the Gustav Klimt “Death and Life” painting on display at a Vienna museum on Tuesday. “People still have blood on their hands exploring and drilling for new oil and gas — and sponsorship money will never wash that blood away,” the activist group said. “There can be no clean art with dirty money!”
(Last Generation Austria)

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The group is calling for laws that would reduce highway speed limits to 100km/h (about 62 mph), which they claim would save Austria 460 million tons of CO2 per year and reduce noise and air pollution. Reduces pollution.

The last generation protested on a day when the public was given free admission to the museum for St. Leopold’s Day, an event sponsored by OMV, an oil and gas company.

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A man movies "death and life," A painting by Gustav Klimt, at the Leopold Museum in Vienna, January 28, 2016.

A man films “Death and Life,” a painting by Gustav Klimt, at the Leopold Museum in Vienna, Jan. 28, 2016.
(Getty Images via Vladimir Simicek/AFP)

“People still have blood on their hands exploring and drilling for new oil and gas — and sponsorship money will never wash that blood away,” the activist group said. “There can be no clean art with dirty money!”

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Various groups of climate activists have tried to destroy the paintings in recent months and have attached themselves to other works of art in European museums. On November 11, radical environmentalists in Norway tried and tried to hang Edvard Munch’s 1889 painting “The Scream” in a museum in Oslo. Last month, two activists were arrested in London, England, after throwing cans of tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” painting.

Two protesters kneel after throwing soup at Vincent van Gogh's famous 1888 work "Sunflower" At the National Gallery in London, October 14, 2022.

Two protesters kneel after throwing soup at Vincent van Gogh’s famous 1888 work “Sunflowers” at the National Gallery in London on October 14, 2022.
(Only turn off fuel via AP)

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Museum officials told reporters at a news conference that the museum had increased security after the latest attacks and that Klimt’s 1915 work “Death and Life” was left untouched by Tuesday’s protests.

“Fortunately the artwork was not damaged. Nevertheless, we are surprised that the Leopold Museum was in focus here,” musical director Hans-Peter Wiplinger said at a news conference, according to Reuters.

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While Wiplinger said that the museum sympathizes with the cause of the workers, he condemned the protest and said that the last generation will be billed for the deployment of the police and the cleaning, the cost is estimated to be at least five figures in euros.

It is not clear if the activists have been arrested.

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