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Italian environmentalists protested at a second museum in as many months on Thursday by tacking their hands to the base of the Laocoon, one of the most significant ancient statues in the Vatican Museums.
According to the environmental organization Last Generation, the statue was undamaged. The three demonstrators were taken away by Vatican gendarmes, who then processed them at an Italian police station. Since they had jurisdiction in Vatican City, it was unclear if Vatican criminal prosecutors would eventually take up the matter.
The demonstrators want the Italian government to enhance its use of solar and wind energy and to stop looking for natural gas and reopening closed coal mines there. “No gas, no coal” was written on a banner that was attached to the base of the statue.
In the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, protesters last month stuck their hands to the glass window enclosing Sandro Botticelli’s masterpiece “Spring.” According to Italian media, they were taken into custody in that situation and told to avoid Florence for three years.
According to Last Generation, the gang chose to attack the Laocoon monument because of its symbolic meaning. It is thought to have been carved in Rhodes between 40 and 30 B.C.
Laocoon cautioned his fellow Trojans not to take the wooden horse left by the Greeks during the Trojan War, according to tradition and the Vatican Museums’ website. The group claimed that the current warning, which political leaders are ignoring, is the climate crisis.