Activists who attacked 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' jailed by Dutch court

One activist claimed he had thoroughly researched the risks of the attack on the painting beforehand

Eco activists attack the Vermeer work 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' at a Dutch museum. Photo: Twitter
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Two climate activists were sentenced to two months in jail, one of them suspended, by a Dutch court for targeting Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, news agency ANP said.

Officials arrested three men in their forties from neighbouring Belgium after the attack on the 1665 painting at the city's Mauritshuis museum to raise awareness about the future of the planet.

Two activists glued themselves to the painting's glass cover and adjoining wall, while another near by poured what appeared to be tomato sauce out of a can.

The museum said the work, which has inspired a best-selling novel and a Hollywood movie, was undamaged and went back on display the next day.

But a court in The Hague said the frame and surrounding part of the wall were harmed in what many people thought to be a "shocking" action, ANP reported.

"Anyone can imagine the fragility of such a painting and the fact that it could have been lost if it hadn't worked out," one judge said.

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Prosecutors had originally requested that the men each be jailed for four months, of which two would be suspended.

Wouter M., accused of gluing his head to the glass frame protecting the artwork, claimed he had thoroughly researched the risks of doing so beforehand.

Pieter G filmed the event.

A third activist, who emptied the tin can, is to go on trial on Friday, the news agency said.

The protest action against the Vermeer artwork is just the latest in a string of such events in recent weeks.

Environmental activists last month splashed tomato soup on Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh's Sunflowers in London, and others threw mashed potato over a Claude Monet painting in Germany.

Updated: November 03, 2022, 6:29 AM
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