COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norwegian police say two climate activists tried unsuccessfully Friday to cling to Edvard Munch’s 1893 masterpiece “The Scream” in an Oslo museum and No damage had been reported to the painting of a waif-like figure appearing to scream.
Police said they were alerted by the National Museum of Norway and have three people under their “control”. A third person filmed the couple trying to cling to the board, Norwegian news agency NTB reported.
The museum said the room where the painting under glass is displayed “has been emptied of the public and closed” and will reopen as soon as possible. The rest of the museum remained open.
Police said there was glue residue on the glass backing.
Video of the incident showed museum guards holding two activists, one shouting ‘I scream for people who are dying’ and another shouting ‘I scream when lawmakers ignore science’ while one person shielded the painting Some protestors.
Environmental activists from the Norwegian organization ‘Stop oljeletinga’ – Norwegian for Stop Oil Exploration – were behind the stunt, saying they “wanted to pressure lawmakers to stop oil exploration”. Norway is a major offshore oil and gas producer.
“We are campaigning against ‘Scream’ because it is perhaps the most famous painting in Norway,” spokeswoman for activist Astrid Rem told The Associated Press. “There have been a lot of similar actions across Europe, they have achieved something that no other action has achieved: getting hugely significant coverage and press.”
It was the latest episode in which climate activists have targeted famous paintings in European museums.
Two Belgian activists who targeted Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ in a Dutch museum in October were sentenced to two months in prison. The painting was undamaged and was put back on its wall a day later.
Earlier this month, climate protesters threw mashed potatoes at a Claude Monet painting in a German museum and a similar protest took place in London, where protesters threw soup on Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ at the National Gallery. In these two cases, the paintings were not damaged either.