BERLIN (AP) — A painting by famed 19th-century French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was doused with fake blood at a Berlin museum in an act reminiscent of recent climate activist protests, although there was no apparent link between them, officials said Monday.
The work was being examined for damage after a person threw the liquid at the glass-covered “Clown” in the Alte Nationalgalerie on Sunday and then glued one of their hands to the wall next to the work, according to Berlin’s museum authority.
Police took the person into custody after detaching their hand from the wall.
The suspect was handing out leaflets before the incident, the authority said, but didn’t provide details on their contents. It said it couldn’t immediately detail any damage to the painting or frame, which were being examined at the museum’s restoration workshop.
The head of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which oversees the museum authority, said Sunday that he was “appalled by this further senseless attack on art, which in this case apparently can’t be attributed to any group active in climate policy,” news agency dpa reported.
Hermann Parzinger said initial word was that there appeared to be no serious damage to the painting itself, but glue and dye had to be removed from the fabric-covered wall of the room where it was located.
The incident followed a string of demonstrations by the group Uprising of the Last Generation, whose actions in recent months have included blocking streets and throwing mashed potatoes at a Claude Monet painting at a museum in Potsdam, just outside Berlin.
On Sunday, two environmental activists glued themselves to a dinosaur display at Berlin’s Natural History Museum to protest what they said was the German government’s failure to properly address the threat of climate change.
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