Eco-activists underestimate damage protests do to artworks, museums warn

© FuturoVegetal via Reuters

Nearly 100 of the world's most famous museums issued a joint declaration on Thursday saying environmental activists who attack paintings to draw attention to climate change "severely underestimate" the damage that could be caused.

"The activists responsible for these attacks severely underestimate the fragility of these irreplaceable objects, which must be preserved as part of our world cultural heritage," said the statement. It was signed by the directors of 92 world-renowned museums including the Louvre in Paris, the Guggenheim in New York and the Prado in Madrid.

Protesters have attacked numerous masterpieces across Europe in recent weeks to protest the lack of action against climate change.

They have glued themselves to a Francisco Goya in Madrid, thrown tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" in London, and slung mashed potatoes on a Claude Monet in Potsdam near Berlin.

While the paintings remained undamaged, the "Sunflowers" incident resulted in minor damage to the frame of the canvas, which is protected by glass.

"As museum directors entrusted with the care of these works, we have been deeply shaken by their risky endangerment," the statement added.

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