‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ painting targeted by climate activists in Dutch museum

THE HAGUE, Netherlands—Climate activists targeted Johannes Vermeer’s masterpiece “Girl with a Pearl Earring” with glue and liquid on Thursday but one of the world’s most iconic paintings was not damaged in the latest of such publicity-seeking stunts.

A video posted on Twitter showed one man pouring a can of red substance over another protester who appeared to attempt to glue his head to the glass-protected painting. The second man stuck his hand to the panel holding the centuries-old painting.

“The condition of the painting has been investigated by our conservators. Fortunately, the glazed masterpiece was not damaged,” the museum said.

One of the men, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Just Stop Oil,” shouted “How do you feel when you see something beautiful and priceless being apparently destroyed before your eyes? Do you feel outrage? Good. That is the feeling when you see the planet being destroyed before our very eyes.”

He went on to say that the painting is protected by glass as one visitor to the museum shouts: “Shame on you!” Other visitors also showed their disapproval.

Police in The Hague said they had arrested three people for “public violence against property.”

Earlier this month, climate protesters threw mashed potatoes at a Claude Monet painting in a German museum and a similar protest happened in London, where protesters threw soup over Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in the National Gallery. In both those cases, the paintings were not damaged.

“Art is defenseless, and the Mauritshuis firmly rejects attempts to damage it for any purpose whatsoever,” the museum said. It refused further comment since it argued it would only give the protesters further publicity.


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