Climate Activists Threw Mashed Potatoes on a Monet

Climate Activists Threw Mashed Potatoes on a Monet

Remember the tomato soup protest against oil? Well, things are heating up.

On Sunday, two members of the German climate activist group Letze Generation, which translates to Last Generation, threw food over a Claude Monet painting to incite the government to fight climate change. The painting of choice? Monet's “Les Meules (Grainstacks)” located at Museum Barberini in Potsdam. The food of choice? Mashed potatoes.

This intervention comes just over a week after oil protestors in the U.K. threw tomato soup over Vincent Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” painting at London’s National Gallery.

The two activists involved in Letze Generation’s protest threw mashed potatoes across the famous Monet painting valued at over 100 million dollars and glued themselves to the wall, stating, “People are starving, people are freezing, people are dying. We are in a climate catastrophe and all you are afraid of is tomato soup or mashed potatoes on a painting.” Drawing a parallel between the two protests, Letze Generation added, “You know what I’m afraid of? I’m afraid because science tells us that we won’t be able to feed our families in 2050.”

German organizers, including German Greenpeace, also staged marches over the weekend totaling a turnout of over 24,000 people amid rising gas prices and the climate crisis.

Letze Generation called to attention the hypocrisy of preserving artifacts while destroying the environment. In a post on their website, Letze Generation makes reference to their tomato-soup predecessors, echoing the central question: “What is worth more, art or life?” They added that the sentiment behind Monet’s “Les Meules (Grainstacks)” speaks to the beauty of the environment, which we will no longer enjoy the way Monet did as climate change takes hold.

While Letze Generation highlighted the real-world damage wrought by the increased storms, floods and droughts brought on by climate change, a spokesperson for the Museum Barberini confirmed the painting itself did not appear to sustain any damages and was protected by glass.

Photo courtesy of Ysbrand Cosijn/Shutterstock