Climate activists glued to a sculpture in Vatican Museum


What can you do when the world won’t listen to your warning of imminent peril? More and more climate activists are gluing themselves to important artworks to bring attention to their cause. The most recent case was last Thursday, when three Italian activists from the group Last Generation glued their hands to the base of Laocoön and His Sons, an ancient sculpture in the Vatican Museum.

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Their demands? The Italian government must increase solar and wind power, stop natural gas exploration and refrain from reopening old Italian coal mines. In short, the banner they attached to the Laocoon’s base read: “No gas, no coal.”

Related: Climate protestors glued to The Last Supper

“There will be no open museums, no art, no beauty in a world plagued by climate and ecological emergencies,” Last Generation wrote in a statement. Italian gendarmes weren’t won over by the argument. They removed the protestors and booked them at the police station. No word yet about how much trouble the activists may or may not be in.

Laocoön and His Sons, sculpted in approximately 200 B.C., is not a feel-good wok. The Trojan priest Laocoön warned his country people not to accept the gift of a wooden horse from the Greeks (spoiler alert: The horse was hollow and full of Greek warriors, who crept out while the Trojans were sleeping, killed the guards and opened the gates to let their fellow soldiers flood into Troy). Meanwhile, the Greek gods sent sea serpents to kill Laocoön and his sons.

The statue depicts the horror of the Laocoön family as serpents wind around their bodies. The activists chose this statue because they feel that the public, like the Trojans, are sleepwalking while on the brink of destruction. The statue was unharmed, according to Last Generation.

Gluing yourself to famous artworks has become a trendy protest strategy in Europe. In July, Last Generation members glued themselves to the frame of a painting in Florence, Italy. Activists in London recently glued themselves to the frame of a John Constable painting and to a painting of the Last Supper. These other protests were also tied to ending new oil and gas licenses.

Via AP, Washington Post

Lead image via Adobe Stock



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