Environmental activists are sticking their hands to Botticelli’s Spring in Florence

The two Ultima Generazione activists glued themselves to the protective glass spring by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), at the Uffizi Museum, in Florence (Italy), Friday July 22. Laura Lezza/Ultima Generation

If the climate collapses, there will be no more museums, no more art“, they warned before they were arrested. Protected by glass, the work is not damaged.

After the United Kingdom, the disruption of environmental activists in the heart of museums and closer to works of art continues in Italy. Two activists took out guards at the Uffizi museum in Florence by unfurling a flag at the foot of the building on Friday. spring by Botticelli and pressed their hand to the glass that protects the masterpiece of the Florentine Renaissance.

“The only thing we can do to save our society, to save the future of all humanity, is to stop investing in fossil fuels”, proclaimed the activists of the Italian movement Ultima Generazione (Last generation), before being arrested by the security forces of the museum and taken to the custody of the Carabinieri, with a third activist intervening in addition to his colleagues . The management of the Offices pointed out that the legislature in Botticelli’s panel was not damaged by this action.

SEE ALSO – Climate: environmental activists glue themselves to a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper

The ecological and non-violent movement promised that this first disturbance in the Offices was inaugurated “a new era of action” in Italian museums “in Florence, Venice, Milan and Rome”. According to the press releases of the activists published on Friday, the preservation of the beauty immortalized by the Florentine painter makes it necessary to act as soon as possible for the climate.

Warning against the end of civilization

“Is it possible to see a spring as beautiful as this one today?questioned the movement that demands the end of the exploitation of gas and coal. “If the climate collapses, all civilization as we know it collapses. No more tourism, no more museums, no more artadded the group, specifying that they consulted art restoration experts before their action at the Uffizi, to ensure that their activists would not cause damage to Botticelli’s work.

In reaction to the criticisms that developed after their action in Florence, the movement also clarified on Friday night that “The inconvenience we have caused is nothing compared to the billion climate migrants and many deaths caused by the climate crisis”. In activity since December, the Italian collective stopped an opera performance on July 15 Madame Butterfly during the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, Tuscany.

Close to other ecological groups such as the British of Just Stop Oil, the French of Last Renovation or the Germans of Der Letzer Generation, Ultima Generazione belongs to “international civil resistance movement” A22, funded by the Climate Emergency Fund, an American philanthropic foundation.

Keep up the cause

The new method of militant action that consists of investing in museums and gluing a hand to a work of art appeared across the Channel from the end of June. Activists from Just Stop Oil intervened in quick succession in five British museums, including the National Gallery, by sticking to the frame of various paintings, including landscapes by Van Gogh and William Turner.

In France, many museums have confirmed that they closely follow the development of these new forms of militant outbursts that raise the question of the safety of the works on display. According to several videos posted online, at least two and a half minutes passed on Friday, before an Uffizi security guard intervened to push the two activists who were glued to the frame of spring by Botticelli.

“Museums are not ready”confessed at the beginning of July to Figaro an Extinction Rebellion activist. “What image should we have in France to get to the climate chaos that is coming?”also questioned, on July 8, the Last Renovation movement that intervened in Roland-Garros as well as during the Tour de France.

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