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On Sunday, mashed potatoes were thrown at a Claude Monet painting by climate protesters, temporarily covering it in starch. This was the most recent in a string of artistic interventions designed to raise awareness of environmental degradation and climate change.
Hasso Plattner paid $110.7 million for the Meules, an 1890s artwork, at auction in 2019. It is on loan from his collection to the Museum Barberini in Potsdam. Since the institution’s establishment in 2017, paintings from Plattner’s collection have frequently been on display there.
The German activist group Letzte Generation, which organized the demonstration, claimed in a statement that “the painting was not damaged in the action. Quite in contrast to the immeasurable suffering that floods, storms and droughts are already bringing upon us today as harbingers of the impending catastrophe.”
In a statement shared on social media, the Museum Barberini added that Meules was unharmed because the painting is “glazed.” The piece will return to the museum’s collection on Wednesday.