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Eco-zealots glue their hands to Renaissance master Raphael’s iconic Sistine Madonna in Dresden

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Environmental activists in Germany have been arrested after gluing their hands to one of the most famous paintings in the world.

Jakob Beyer, 28, and Maike Grunst, 21, stuck their hands to the golden frame of Renaissance master Raphael’s painting The Sistine Madonna in Dresden this morning.

The activists, who belong to the ‘Letzte Generation’ (Last Generation) movement, entered the Old Masters Picture Gallery, stepped over a barrier in front of the painting and clasped on to the frame before unfurling a banner.

Environmental activists in Germany have been arrested after gluing their hands to one of the most famous paintings in the world

Jakob Beyer, 28, and Maike Grunst, 21, stuck their hands to the golden frame of Renaissance master Raphael's painting The Sistine Madonna

Jakob Beyer, 28, and Maike Grunst, 21, stuck their hands to the golden frame of Renaissance master Raphael’s painting The Sistine Madonna

Other gallery guests had to be kicked out while security surrounded the pair and police were called who eventually removed their hands and took them into custody, according to Bild

It is the latest in a string of similar protests in which eco-activists have glued themselves to famous paintings by artists such as Botticelli and Van Gogh.

Beyer and Grunst told guards the protest was an act of solidarity for Dresden-based activist Christian Bläul, 40, who glued his hands to a motorway in Stockholm, Sweden.

He was later held in police custody for nine days, before being convicted, and is now in a Swedish jail.

Speaking about the Dresden protest today, Sebastian Hecht, from the ministry of tourism in Saxony, said: ‘Fortunately, there was no damage to the work of art itself, but there was damage to the frame.

The activists, who belong to the 'Letzte Generation' (Last Generation) movement, entered the Old Masters Picture Gallery

The activists, who belong to the ‘Letzte Generation’ (Last Generation) movement, entered the Old Masters Picture Gallery

A guard came and confronted the protesters but he was unable to free them and police were called

A guard came and confronted the protesters but he was unable to free them and police were called

‘The frame itself is quite valuable, so it is something that will definitely be a criminal offense and will certainly lead to investigations.’

Grunst, a spokesperson for Last Generation, said she and Beyer superglued themselves to the Sistine Madonna because it supposedly incapsulates the climate crisis.

She said: ‘Mary and Jesus look to the future with fear. They look forward to Christ’s death on the cross.

‘An equally predictable death will also be the result of climate collapse. And all over the world.’

This summer has seen a series of protests in galleries and museums targeting high-profile artworks.

It is the latest in a string of similar protests in which eco-activists have glued themselves to famous paintings by artists such as Botticelli and Van Gogh

It is the latest in a string of similar protests in which eco-activists have glued themselves to famous paintings by artists such as Botticelli and Van Gogh

Just Stop Oil vandals carried out a protest at the National Gallery by covering John Constable’s The Hay Wain with their own version featuring double yellow lines, pollution and a washing machine.

Two students covered the world-famous painting in London with a mock ‘undated’ version including aircraft, before gluing their hands to the frame in a protest against UK oil and gas projects on July 4.

It took more than an hour for the pair to be arrested. 

The group said their reimagined version of the 1821 priceless work, which depicts a rural scene on the River Stour in Suffolk, shows a ‘nightmare scene that demonstrates how oil will destroy our countryside’.

Art historians and experts have all raised concerns that the vandals, two Brighton university students who have appeared at Just Stop Oil protests before, could have caused irreparable damage to the 19th century masterpiece.

Protesters from Just Stop Oil cover John Constable's The Hay Wain at the National Gallery in London

Protesters from Just Stop Oil cover John Constable’s The Hay Wain at the National Gallery in London

One hero gallery worker even silenced a pair of ranting eco-zealots as she warned them to ‘get off our paintings and get out’ at Manchester Art Gallery.

Two men from the campaign group Just Stop Oil wearing orange t-shirts with the words ‘Just Stop Oil’ written in black on their fronts both placed a hand on either side of the frame surrounding Thomson’s Aeolian Harp, a piece from 1809 by the English Romantic painter JMW Turner.

Spray painted on the floor underneath the JMW Turner painting in Manchester today read the words, ‘no new oil’.

In a video recording of the protest uploaded to Twitter, a female member of staff can be heard instructing colleagues over a walkie-talkie to call 999. 

A female member of staff at Manchester Art Gallery cuts the protester short, however, saying: ‘I’m not interested. No.  No. No. You’ve defaced our property…I don’t want to hear a word of what you’ve got to say.

‘So please, give us some respect by just keeping quiet…Let this be a silent protest.’

A hero gallery worker silenced ranting eco-zealots after they glued themselves to a painting hung in Manchester Art Gallery

A hero gallery worker silenced ranting eco-zealots after they glued themselves to a painting hung in Manchester Art Gallery

A day later, activists from Just Stop Oil glued themselves to the frame of a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. 

Extinction Rebellion co-founder Simon Bramwell was among those involved, along with fellow XR activist Caspar Hughes. 

Just Stop Oil also named three of the protesters as Jessica Agar, 21, an art student from Hereford; Tristan Strange, 40, a community organiser from Swindon; and Lucy Porter, 47, a former teacher from Leeds. 

Security quickly responded and cleared visitors away before trying to prise the activists off the artwork. Police arrived nearly an hour later and arrested them on suspicion of criminal damage.

The security guard first pulled the man's hand off the painting

He then proceeded to remove the young woman from the priceless Renaissance artwork

Enough is enough: the security guard first pulled the man’s hand off the painting (left), before proceeding to remove the young woman from the priceless Renaissance artwork (right). Police then detained the protesters, who had tickets

Protesters from Just Stop Oil glue their hands to the frame of a copy of The Last Supper at the Royal Academy in London today

Protesters from Just Stop Oil glue their hands to the frame of a copy of The Last Supper at the Royal Academy in London today

Just Stop Oil activists then carried out similar protests at galleries in Glasgow, Manchester and London.

The same month, three environmental activists attached themselves to the glass cover of Botticelli’s iconic Primavera painting in the Gallery in Florence.

But the Italian security were praised for ripping the protesters’ hands from the priceless painting, instead of guards who just watched on at the protests in Britain.

The out-of-patience security official stormed over to the young pair and pulled their superglued hands from the Renaissance masterpiece shortly after they began their short-lived protest in the Uffizi Gallery.

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