‘I don’t like it’: Scholz criticises climate activism targeting art 

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05 November 2022, Berlin: Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) speaks at the SPD Debate Convention. Topics of the Debate Convention include digitization, the fight against climate change and the turning point in the international order. Credit line: Christophe Gateau / DPA / Profimedia

Following a spate of climate activist protests that have seen major artworks being hit with soups, mashed potatoes and more, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says he thinks this form of demonstration is wrong.

“I readily admit that I don’t like it that works of art are now being painted onto and pelted with mash,” Scholz said on Saturday at in Berlin at a party conference of his Social Democrats. 

Museums in Berlin, London, Rome, Amsterdam and elsewhere in Europe, have seen prized pieces of art pelted with the likes of tomato soup, mashed potato, pea soup and fake blood in stunts aimed at drawing attention to government inaction over a pending climate catastrophe.

Scholz said that demonstrators should consider their goals with their activism. 

German activist group Letzte Generation (“Last Generation”) has also been blocking roads as part of its protests. 

Scholz said he believed that protesters were achieving the opposite to their cause by gluing themselves to the street and blocking traffic. 

“I think that the people standing in the traffic jam don’t suddenly understand the seriousness of the concern, but are just completely annoyed instead,” Scholz said.

“And that’s why I don’t think it’s a good idea.” ©dpa

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