Environmental activists in Germany have been arrested after they glued their hands to one of the most famous paintings in the world.
This morning in Dresden, Jakob Beyer (28) and Maike Grunst (21) stuck their hands to the golden frame of the Renaissance master Raphael’s painting The Sistine Madonna.
The activists, who belong to the ‘Letzte Generation’ movement, entered the Old Masters Picture Gallery, stepped over a barrier in front of the painting and clung to the frame before unfurling a banner.
Environmental activists in Germany arrested after taping their hands to one of the world’s most famous paintings
Jakob Beyer (28) and Maike Grunst (21) stuck their hands on the golden frame of the Renaissance master Raphael’s painting The Sistine Madonna
Other gallery guests had to be kicked out as security surrounded the pair and the police were called, who eventually removed their hands and arrested them, according to Bild.
It is the latest in a series of similar protests in which eco-activists have glued themselves to famous paintings by artists such as Botticelli and Van Gogh.
Beyer and Grunst told guards the protest was an act of solidarity for Dresden-based activist Christian Bläul, 40, who had his hands glued to a highway in Stockholm, Sweden.
He was later held in police custody for nine days, before being found guilty, and is now in a Swedish prison.
Sebastian Hecht, from the Ministry of Tourism in Saxony, said of the Dresden protest today: ‘Luckily there was no damage to the artwork itself, but there was damage to the frame.
The activists, who belong to the ‘Letzte Generation’ movement, entered the Old Masters Picture Gallery
A guard came and confronted the protesters but he was unable to free them and the police were called
“The frame itself is very valuable, so it’s something that would certainly be a criminal offense and would certainly lead to investigations.”
Grunst, a spokeswoman for Last Generation, said she and Beyer glued themselves to the Sistine Madonna because it supposedly encapsulates the climate crisis.
She said: ‘Mary and Jesus look to the future with fear. They look forward to Christ’s death on the cross.
An equally predictable death will also result from climate collapse. And all over the world.’
This summer has seen a series of protests in galleries and museums targeting high-profile artworks.
It is the latest in a series of similar protests in which eco-activists have glued themselves to famous paintings by artists such as Botticelli and Van Gogh
Just Stop Oil vandals staged a protest at the National Gallery by covering John Constable’s The Hay Wain with their own version featuring double yellow lines, pollution and a washing machine.
Two students covered the world-famous painting in London with a mock ‘undated’ version, including planes, before taping their hands to the frame in a July 4 protest against UK oil and gas projects.
It took more than an hour before the two were arrested.
The group said their re-imagined version of the priceless 1821 work, which depicts a rural scene on the River Stour in Suffolk, shows a ‘nightmare scene demonstrating how oil will destroy our countryside’.
Art historians and experts have all expressed concern that the vandals, two Brighton University students who had previously appeared at Just Stop Oil protests, could have caused irreparable damage to the 19th-century masterpiece.
Protesters from Just Stop Oil cover John Constable’s The Hay Wain at the National Gallery in London
One heroic gallery worker even silenced some squeamish eco-zealots when she warned them to ‘get off our paintings and get out’ at Manchester Art Gallery.
Two men from the campaign group Just Stop Oil wearing orange t-shirts with the words ‘Just Stop Oil’ written in black on their fronts, both placed a hand on either side of the frame around Thomson’s Aeolian Harp, a piece of 1809 by the English Romantic painter JMW Turner.
Spray paint on the floor below the JMW Turner painting in Manchester today reads the words, ‘no new oil’.
In a video recording of the protest uploaded to Twitter, a female member of staff can be heard instructing colleagues over a walkie-talkie to call 999.
However, a female member of staff at Manchester Art Gallery cut the protester short and said: ‘I’m not interested. No. No. No. You have desecrated our property…I don’t want to hear a word of what you have to say.
“So please, give us some respect by just keeping quiet… Let it be a silent protest.”
A hero gallery worker silenced screaming eco-zealots after they glued themselves to a painting hanging in Manchester Art Gallery
A day later, Just Stop Oil activists glued themselves to the frame of a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
Extinction Rebellion co-founder Simon Bramwell was among those involved, along with fellow XR activist Caspar Hughes.
Just Stop Oil also named three of the protesters as Jessica Agar, 21, an art student from Hereford; Tristan Strange, 40, a community organizer from Swindon; and Lucy Porter, 47, a former teacher from Leeds.
Security responded quickly and cleared visitors before they tried to pry the activists from the artwork. The police arrived almost an hour later and arrested them for criminal damage.
Enough is enough: the security guard first pulled the man’s hand off the painting (left), before proceeding to remove the young woman from the precious Renaissance artwork (right). The police then detained the protesters, who had tickets
Protesters from Just Stop Oil glue their hands to the frame of a copy of The Last Supper at the Royal Academy in London today
Just Stop Oil activists then staged similar protests at galleries in Glasgow, Manchester and London.
That same month, three environmental activists attached themselves to the glass cover of Botticelli’s iconic Primavera painting in the Gallery in Florence.
But Italian security were praised for yanking the protesters’ hands from the precious painting, instead of guards watching the protests in Britain.
The impatient security officer pounced on the young couple and pulled their taped hands from the Renaissance masterpiece shortly after they began their brief protest in the Uffizi Gallery.