Environmental activists attacked a painting by Claude Monet with red paint and glue at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm yesterday. The painting, Le jardin de l’artiste à Giverny (1900), is unharmed and the activists were arrested, the museum said in a statement.
The painting was on loan from the Musée d’Orsay for an exhibition at the Nationalmuseum called The Garden – Six Centuries of Art and Nature. “In dialogue with the lender, we’re now looking into the possibilities of reinstalling the artwork in the exhibition,” said Hanna Tottmar, head of press at the museum.
“We distance ourselves from actions where art or cultural heritage are put at risk of damage,” says Per Hedström, the acting director general at the Nationalmuseum. “Cultural heritage has great symbolic value and it is unacceptable to attack or destroy it, for any purpose whatsoever.”
A group called Aterstall Vatmarker (Restore Wetlands) disseminated a video of the incident via Twitter, showing two women smearing red paint on the protective glass covering the painting with one hand, while gluing the other to the glass. According to the Nationalmuseum, the incident occurred yesterday at 2.30 p.m.
The attack is the latest in a series of similar art stunts by climate activists, who have flung or smeared substances including tomato soup, mashed potatoes, paint, glue, cake and a black oily liquid at paintings by artists including Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Vermeer and Gustav Klimt.