SYDNEY (AFP) – Two climate activists glued their hands to the perspex covering of Picasso’s anti-war painting Massacre in Korea in a Melbourne art gallery yesterday, police, protesters and the gallery said.
The painting emerged unscathed.
The black-clad activists were shown with their hands pressed against the Picasso in a room of the National Gallery of Victoria in images shared on social media by the Extinction Rebellion movement.
A man wearing a T-shirt with the Extinction Rebellion symbol – an hourglass in a circle – stood alongside them. On the ground at their feet lay a black banner reading ‘Climate Chaos = War + Famine’.
“It is believed three protesters entered the ground level of the gallery before a man and a woman glued themselves to a protective covering of a Picasso painting,” said a Victoria Police spokeswoman.
The protesters – a 49-year-old woman from New South Wales and a 59-year-old man from Melbourne – were “removed from the painting” more than an hour after their action is believed to have started, police said.
The pair, alongside a 49-year-old Melbourne man, “have been arrested and are assisting police with their enquiries”, they said.
The gallery said it had called the police and closed the exhibition to the public.
“The protesters’ hands were safely removed from the perspex with no harm to the work,” said a spokesperson.