Protesters splash paint on sculpture to bring attention to inaction on climate

Protesters targeted the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, painting the display case containing Edgar Degas’ famed “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen” sculpture with red and black paint.

The incident, which was captured on video and circulated online, is the latest in a string of similar protests targeting art to bring attention to the climate crisis.

In the video, two protesters wearing dark clothing can be seen sitting cross-legged in front of the artwork, paint-covered hands up.

One of the protesters spoke out, saying “We need our leaders to take serious action, to tell us the truth about what is happening with the climate,” adding that “we are parents and our first job is to protect our children.”

The other protester echoed similar sentiments, saying, “I have a job that requires health and safety, but I can’t do my job unless I have a government that does their job in looking out for the health and safety of our children.”

National Gallery of Art Director Kaywin Feldman unequivocally denounced the attack on the artwork, stating that the Degas had been taken out of view and will undergo damage assessment from the museum’s conservation team.

The gallery that housed the artwork is closed until further notice, and the FBI is assisting in an active investigation.

This is not the first time that climate activists have targeted art to bring attention to the issue. Last year, activists splashed pea soup onto a Vincent van Gogh painting in Rome and threw tomato soup onto van Gogh’s iconic “Sunflowers” in London’s National Gallery.

In Australia, activists graffitied and glued themselves to art by Andy Warhol, and in The Hague, activists glued themselves to Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” painting.

The incident at the National Gallery of Art highlights the growing frustration among climate activists who feel that world leaders are not doing enough to address the climate crisis.

As the world continues to grapple with the devastating impacts of climate change, it is clear that many people feel compelled to take action in whatever way they can.

However, it is important to remember that these actions can have real consequences, both for the artwork itself and for the individuals involved.

As we continue to have important conversations about the climate crisis, it is crucial that we find constructive ways to bring attention to the issue without causing harm or destruction to valuable cultural artifacts.

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