It’s been a difficult autumn for museums all over the world. Climate activists, in order to draw attention to one of the emergencies of our time, targeted some of the most famous paintings in some of the most visited museums in the world: from The National Gallery in London to the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, Germany.

In this image provided by Just Stop Oil, two protesters are shown on October 14, 2022, after throwing canned soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s 1888 «Sunflowers» at the National Gallery in London. (Just Stop Oil via AP).

Most of the activists belong to an organization called “Just stop oil”. In fact, this group has been relentlessly trying to shed light on the climate change emergency by performing exaggerated actions, such as targeting shop windows or more frequently lately gluing themselves to paintings or covering them with different kinds of food.

Just Stop Oil via AP
Activists from Just Stop Oil spray painted the wall beneath a Leonardo pupil’s copy of «The Last Supper» and glued themselves to the frame.
Credit: Kristian Buus/In Pictures/Getty Images and CNN style

The headlines in newspapers all over the world prove to us that climate activists stroke a blow when it comes to drawing attention to the critical matter of climate change, but will these actions make the difference in shaking the consciousness at least of Western societies, or the focus of the public will remain on the photos of world-famous paintings covered with tomato soup, causing outrage for the action itself?

will these actions make a difference or will the focus of the public will remain on the outrage for the action itself?

The answer is not easy. On social media, there is an ongoing debate between users that underline the aim of these provocative actions: encourage people and governments to take action to preserve our planet, arguing that the real criminals are the inept governments acting too slowly against climate change, and other users answering that throwing soup at paintings is not the right way to raise awareness about this issue.

This “new” kind of protest represents a new phase since the birth of the movement “Fridays for future» which organized the biggest protests for climate change. Taking a much more radical approach to the fight against climate change, this new protest movement carries greater risks than benefits. After all, it can scare off an important part of the people who support and want to participate in the climate strikes and protests, or already do, and put a once peaceful movement that wants to change the world for the better in a critical light.

In our brand new newsgame you can playfully dive into the world of art!

If you want to test your knowledge and learn a little more about art, you can try the new game that we have recently launched since we realized the tendency that cultural heritage is the new basis for political rebellion or rather rigorous protest actions against climate change.

Let’s see if you can recognize some of the most famous paintings covered with soup and cakes that were thrown by climate activists in museums all over the world!

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