A Gustav Klimt painting titled “Death and Life” hangs in the Leopold Museum in Vienna.
This week, climate activists tossed a black, oily liquid at the painting to draw attention to the planet’s plight.
Members of Last Generation Austria tweeted that they targeted the 1915 painting to protest their government’s use of fossil fuels, with the oily liquid meant to represent those fossil fuels.
After they threw the liquid, one activist was pushed away from the painting by a guard, and the other superglued his hand to the glass over the painting.
In a video that went briefly viral, one of the activists can be heard yelling, “We have known about the problem for 50 years – we must finally act. Otherwise, the planet will be broken.”
Hans-Peter Wipplinger, director of the museum, said in the wake of the act that the concerns of the activists are justified, “but attacking works of art is definitely the wrong way to implement the targeted goal of preventing the predicted climate collapse.” He appealed to the group and others to find different ways to make their concerns heard.
This action follows a spate of faux-vandalism by the climate activist group in the UK, Just Stop Oil.