Climate activists thrown black liquid on Klimt painting

150 Extinction Rebellion activists released from custody in the Netherlands
Photo: Markus Spiske - Unsplash

Climate activists from the Last Generation collective have thrown black, oily liquid on the Death and Life painting by Gustav Klimt, housed at the Leopold Museum in Vienna. 

In an interview, one of the activists, who was not named, explained the reasoning for targeting this specific painting. He stated that the painting is based on “The beauty of life on the one hand, the awaiting death on the other.” But yet as humans we “are slipping into a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions because, like Klimt’s characters, we do not want to accept the deadly threat”. 

The Last Generation collective have called for a series of practical measures to be applied to help Austria better combat climate change. These include a 100 km/h speed limit on the country’s motorways and stepping away from new oil and gas drilling projects or the reliance on deals with the fossil fuel industry. 

As well as the oil throwing, a second activist glued himself to the painting. The activists pointed to the sponsorship deals done by the museum with the fossil fuel industry as an additional reason for their choice of protest location, with the second activist saying that “clean art is only possible without dirty money”.

Original reporting from Austrian broadcast ORF. 

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