Claudia Roth shows no understanding for attacks by climate activists on world-famous works of art. She strongly condemned the actions. They would hit the wrong people and cause great damage instead of serving climate protection.

Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Greens) sharply criticizes the attacks on works of art by members of the “Last Generation” climate movement. In a featured article for Focus Magazin, Roth writes: “Attacking art for climate protection – in my opinion, that is definitely the wrong way to go.” It goes on to say: “The damage is great and hits the wrong people.”

The “Last Generation” attacked a painting by the impressionist Claude Monet in Potsdam’s Barberini Museum on Sunday. Two people poured mashed potatoes onto the glass pane in front of the painting “Les Meules” (The Grainstacks). They then taped themselves to the wall under the painting and stuck to the ground.

Roth, who herself comes from the political Portest movement, makes it clear that protest is a natural part of democracy. She understands the frustration and anger of the younger generation very well. “However, in my view, attacks on works of art are by no means forms of action that have an effect here, quite the opposite. This is an attack on art treasures that are part of our European and world art heritage. Possible damage to these works of art, their often also historical frames and also other works of art in the vicinity is at least accepted with approval.”

Protest may be radical, but not arbitrary. When asked by the “last generation” what is worth more – art or life – the Minister of State replies: “As if art and life were opposites. Exactly the opposite is made into a shoe: Art is an elixir of life. We must fight to protect life and art.”

The full text will appear in the current FOCUS magazine on Friday.