20th June 2024
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Spanish police arrest climate activists who glued themselves to Goya paintings

The Spanish National Police said on Friday that they had arrested 22 climate activists over protests at museums and elsewhere, including one where they glued their hands to frames of paintings by Francisco de Goya. ALSO READ: Climate activists glue their hands to the frames of Goya masterpieces at Prado museum.

The group is suspected of 65 protests in Spain and other countries, including throwing paint at buildings and works of art in museums, halting traffic and occupying the runways of airports, police said in a statement.

The police said the activists had caused damage in different points of Spain ‘valued at more than €500,000’ and that the group’s leaders had ‘allegedly received €140,000 in donations for coordinating the criminal activity’.

While the statement did not name the group, the activists who in November 2022 staged a demonstration at Madrid’s Prado museum to protest at inaction in the face of the climate emergency were from a group known as ‘Futuro Vegetal’. 

Two members of the group each glued a hand to the frames of two world-famous paintings by Spanish master Goya.

The protest did not damage either painting, but the protesters scrawled ‘+1.5°C’ on the wall between the two artworks, in reference to the Paris Agreement target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The works – ‘The Naked Maja’ and ‘The Clothed Maja’ – were painted in the late 18th and early 19th century respectively.

Climate activists have staged a string of similar protests to call attention to global heating, including throwing soup at the protective glass over works by Vincent van Gogh in London and Rome, and smeared mashed potatoes on the glass over a Claude Monet masterpiece.

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