‘More and more desperate measures’: Climate protesters target another priceless artwork

© Peter Dejong, AP

A climate activist glued his head to the glass protecting Johannes Vermeer's world-famous painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring" at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague on Thursday while a second glued his hand to the panel holding the work.

In France, confrontational climate protests also took place on Thursday when activists forced their way into a Climate Finance Day meeting in the former French stock exchange to protest the investments of French bank BNP Paribas in the fossil fuel industry. Outside the building activists threw smoke bombs and poured black paint on the steps of the historic building, symbolising oil and gas – two fossil fuels the bank is accused of financing.

They are the latest in a spate of attention-grabbing climate protest stunts that have happened around the world in October, grabbing global headlines. But how effective are they?

The Vermeer painting is one of many art works that have been targeted: In the UK climate protesters threw tomato soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”. In Germany, Claude Monet’s “Haystacks” was hit with mashed potato. In Melbourne, two members of Extinction Rebellion stuck their hands to the glass covering a Pablo Picasso painting.

The car industry has also been singled out: nine members of Science Rebellion glued their hands to the floor in Volkswagen's Autostadt museum in Germany while members of Extinction Rebellion glued themselves to Ferraris on display at the Paris Motor Show.

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