Activists throw gunge over replica mummy at Barcelona's Egyptian Museum

Protesters use Coca-Cola bottles to pour red and brown liquid over display

Climate protesters from Futuro Vegetal pose after throwing syrup and beetroot juice at the Egyptian Museum in Barcelona. Reuters
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Climate activists vandalised a replica mummy at Barcelona's Egyptian Museum in the latest attack targeting cultural exhibits in protest at inaction over global warming.

Two people doused a display case with red and brown gunge from Coca-Cola bottles, also splattering framed images on surrounding walls, footage published on the Publico news website indicated. The liquid was thought to be syrup and beetroot juice.

They then glued their hands beside a nearby exhibit and held up a modified Coca-Cola banner scrawled with the words "climate justice".

The US drinks giant was one of the official sponsors of the UN's Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, a position widely denounced by environmentalists who say the company is behind much of the world's plastic pollution.

When police arrived, the activists co-operated and neither was arrested but the museum said it would be filing a complaint for damages.

The protesting pair were part of Futuro Vegetal — a Spanish group whose activists glued their hands to the frames of paintings by Spanish master Francisco Goya at the Prado Museum in Madrid on November 5.

Sunday's stunt was the latest in a string of climate protests by activists who have thrown soup at van Gogh paintings in London and Rome, and mashed potatoes on a Monet masterpiece.

Last Thursday, dozens of the world's leading museums issued a statement saying they were "deeply shaken" by these actions and that protesters "severely underestimate" the damage they could cause.

The Futuro Vegetal activists said their latest ploy was to "highlight the emergency" the world faces.

"Currently 99 per cent of the world's plastic is produced from fossil fuels," the group said.

"We find it hard to believe the global leader in plastic pollution is not going to use its influence as a sponsor of Cop27 to advance its commercial interests given its total dependence on fossil fuels.

"Climate change policies for 2030 will lead us to an increase of 2.5°C by 2060, which will mean an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events incompatible with the survival of most crops for human consumption, leading to crop failures and famine."

Futuro Vegetal wants Spain to end livestock subsidies and use the funds to promote plant-based alternatives.

Updated: November 14, 2022, 8:29 AM
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