For months, climate activists have repeatedly stuck to famous paintings or smeared them with soup or mashed potatoes. Their victims: Lucas Cranach in the Berlin Picture Gallery, the world-famous "Sistine Madonna" by Raphael in Dresden, Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" in the Mauritshuis in The Hague. Fortunately, these unique cultural assets are protected by glass, so their substance has not been attacked.
However, one cannot assume that such barbaric attacks will always have a light outcome. Therefore, the museums have to protect themselves. One of the most important museums in NRW is the Essen Museum Folkwang with its magnificent collection of works by Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Edvard Munch. Director Peter Gorschlueter has now tightened the control measures, as he explained this week.
Although visitors are not allowed into the museum with larger bags or backpacks, smaller bags are now also checked in some cases. In addition, there are precautions about which he did not want to give any details for security reasons. Gorschlueter is also in contact with some groups like "Fridays for Future" or "Last Generation" to prevent such incidents. Some activists have given assurances that the art in the Folkwang Museum will not be a target for attack.
One can only hope that they will also remember this when planning their next attacks. It would have been better if they had promised to generally refrain from desecrating cultural assets.