Holy smokes, Extinction Rebellion activists have been arrested after gluing themselves to a Pablo Picasso painting at the National Gallery of Victoria.
Extinction Rebellion took to social media on Sunday to claim responsibility for the protest and explain the group’s motivation.
“On Sunday October 9, climate protestors from Extinction Rebellion glued themselves to the glass covering Picasso’s ‘Massacre in Korea’ at the NGV,” the group wrote on Twitter.
“A clear reflection of Picasso’s pacifist beliefs, ‘Massacre in Korea’ shows the horrors of war through a depiction of the final moments of a group of women and children held at gunpoint by dehumanised soldiers.”
The protestors — a 59-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman — laid a ‘yuge black banner at their feet which read, “Climate Chaos = War + Famine”, a phrase Extinction Rebellion said “highlighted the connection between climate breakdown and human suffering”.
On Sunday 9 October, climate protesters from Extinction Rebellion glued themselves to the glass covering Picasso’s “Massacre in Korea” at the NGV. pic.twitter.com/GXQqFVG5N2
— XRVicAus (@XRVicAus) October 9, 2022
Per the ABC, a Victoria Police spokesperson said the two protestors glued their hands to the painting at about 12:40pm and were removed just after 2pm. It’s pretty gnarly that they were glued to the painting for more than an hour, if you ask me.
The pair and another protestor were arrested and are assisting police with their enquiries.
An NGV spokeswoman told The Sydney Morning Herald the painting wasn’t damaged during the protest.
“The protesters’ hands were safely removed from the perspex with no harm to the work,” she said.
Brave extinction rebellion climate protesters taking a stand at the Picasso exhibition at the NGV today – If you think this is disruption, note that climate chaos will cause war and famine. #ClimateCollapse. @XRebellionAus @XRVicAus #ClimateEmergency pic.twitter.com/z08jjoz9rk
— Flick Law (@LawFelicity) October 9, 2022
Clinical psychologist and Extinction Rebellion campaigner Jane Morton posted video footage of the protest on Twitter, which showed one of the protestors shouting at a crowd of visitors as security guards tried to usher onlookers away.
“Our government have failed us,” the protester said.
“We need to stop this toxic system now.”
— Jane Morton (@SafeClimate) October 9, 2022
It’s definitely a sure-fire way to spice up a rinky-dink weekend visit to the NGV.
I’m at the Picasso exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria and just as I’m about to go up to his Weeping Woman (1937) some Extinction Rebellion protestors have begun yelling slogans and attached themselves to a painting in the next room! pic.twitter.com/zTnRYbuU8P
— Paul Hartyánszky (@PaulHartyanszky) October 9, 2022
I’m getting flashbacks to earlier this year when a man disguised as an old woman in a wheelchair fanged a cake at Mona Lisa. A noted environmental criminal, obviously.
PEDESTRIAN.TV has reached out to Extinction Rebellion for comment.