Climate activists target Botticelli painting

The Italian activists attempted to glue themselves to ‘Primavera’ in Florence to protest fossil fuels

Italian eco-activists glued themselves to Sandro Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’ in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence on Friday. Even with rising prices, the protesters call for Italy’s government to stop using fossil fuels.

Two protesters glued their hands to a sheet of glass protecting Botticelli’s 15th-century masterpiece, while others took photos and held a banner reading “no gas, no coal.” The group, calling itself the ‘Last Generation’, claimed that it took care to use a type of glue that would not damage the glass.

The two eco-warriors were quickly removed from the painting. After that, the protesters fell to the gallery floor and refused to be taken away.

In a statement on its website, the group set out its demands: That Italy immediately reverse plans to reopen disused coal power plants and cancel gas drilling projects, and that the country increase solar and wind energy by at least 20 gigawatts this year – a tall order given Italy currently plans to add a total of 8GW to its renewable energy capacity by 2024. 

Italians are meanwhile struggling with soaring energy bills, with outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s perceived failure to tackle this problem leading to the collapse of his government last week, and his resignation on Thursday.

An activist group claimed it had targeted a museum. “Italy is internationally recognized as the cradle of artistic and museum heritage,”They claim that this will affect the following: “the ongoing eco-climactic and social collapse.” Last week, the group interrupted a performance of Puccini’s ‘Madame Butterfly’ in the Tuscan town of Lucca, while its members have previously sat on motorways to disrupt traffic.

In a statement on a recent blockage of a ring road in Rome, Last Generation acknowledged that it was deliberately preventing Romans from relaxing by the seaside or going to work. 

Last Generation is not only a group of climate activists that has glued itself to well-known paintings. In the UK, a group called ‘Just Stop Oil’ has targeted works by Giampietrino, Vincent Van Gogh, and John Constable this summer in a bid to draw attention to their cause. 



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