Dozens of police in the German state of Saxony took part in raids on Thursday as part of an investigation into an attack by climate activists in Dresden’s Old Masters Gallery.
Direct action groups across Europe in recent months have been attaching themselves to or near celebrated artworks to highlight their demands for changes to countries’ climate policies, including demanding an end to new gas and oil extraction projects.
On Wednesday, activists disrupted an orchestra concert at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall by gluing themselves to the conductor’s podium.
What we know so far
The Dresden protest in August saw two members of the Letzte Generation (Last Generation) group superglue their hands to the frame of Rafael’s world-famous painting “Sistine Madonna.”
The prosecutor’s office said the raids were connected to an investigation into a 22-year-old woman and the two men, aged 22 and 29.
The three are accused of damage to property, with the cost to the gallery estimated at some €4,000 (some $4,160). The gallery put its overall losses due to the action, including loss of visitors, at some €12,000.
Some 60 police officers took part in several raids in the city of Leipzig in a search for evidence.
Two of the accused, the woman and the older man, are accused of attaching themselves to the painting. Their 22-year-old co-defendant allegedly gave the pair a banner with the inscription “Last Generation.” He was also reported to have filmed the action and posted it on social media.
The protest was followed by activists gluing themselves to Nicolas Poussinthe’s 1651 painting “Landscape during a Thunderstorm with Pyramus and Thisbe” at the Staedel Museum in Frankfurt.
Activists also blocked dozens of roads across Germany this year by gluing themselves to the asphalt.
Last Generation activists say they want to make it impossible for people and governments to ignore that there is only a short time remaining to prevent catastrophic levels of global warming.
Famous paintings across the world by climate activism groups, including Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” in The Hague and Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in London.
rc/sms (dpa, AFP, epd)