Ninety-Two Museum Leaders Denounce Climate Actions Targeting Art

Ninety-two museum administrators from close to the world have signed a statement from the International Council of Museums (ICOM) condemning the current steps by environmental activist groups this kind of as Just Quit Oil, who have above the earlier handful of months targeted famed artworks in viral and divisive efforts to raise awareness of and spur action on the deepening weather crisis.

The signatories—who contain these types of Hartwig Fischer of the British Museum, Max Hollein of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Artwork, Glenn Lowry of the Museum of Modern Art, and Laurence des Autos of the Louvre—claim that the protestors “severely underestimate the fragility of these irreplaceable objects, which should be preserved as section of our entire world cultural heritage.” Users of the British isles-centered Just Quit Oil team are identified to glue by themselves to the frames of legendary will work of art and douse the glass defending paintings in foodstuffs such as tomato soup, as with Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers last month. Activists unaffiliated with Just Quit Oil have staged related demonstrations in Germany, Australia, Spain, and Italy. Earlier this month, two Belgian protestors were sentenced to two months in prison following gluing by themselves to the glass shielding Vermeer’s Lady with a Pearl Earring, inspite of the 1665 canvas suffering no injury. Art establishments have responded in modern months by upping security presence and, in some cases, confiscating mobile phones and cameras. 

“As museum directors entrusted with the treatment of these functions, we have been deeply shaken by their risky endangerment,” reads ICOM’s launch, which also posits that museums need to continue being sites of “social discourse.” The statement comes as officers from approximately two hundred international locations assemble in Egypt for COP27, the 2022 United Nations Climate Improve Convention, to explore plans relevant to weather alter.


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