1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Climate protesters in Italy target Botticelli painting

February 13, 2024

Activists taped images of flooding to a well-known painting by the Italian artist. They face stiff new penalties introduced in Italy against such protests.

 Visitors view Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus"
'Birth of Venus' is a 15th-century work displayed in FlorenceImage: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Botticelli's painting "The Birth of Venus" on Tuesday has become the latest piece of art to be the focus of climate protests.

Two activists from the Last Generation group in Italy stuck several photographs of flooding on the painting displayed at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, police said. 

The protesters also held up a poster demanding a €20 billion ($21.43 billion) fund to repair climate damage.

"The government continues to pretend that fields did not burn in January, that water will not be a problem this summer, that houses destroyed by floods are accidental events and not caused by human choices," one of the protesters said.

"And instead of dealing with these real problems, it makes absurd laws" punishing climate activism, he said.

He was referring to new laws in Italy increasing penalties activists can be forced to pay up to €60,000 if they deface monuments.

The Birth of Venus painting was covered by glass and was not damaged.

The Last Generation organisation began carrying out peaceful but disruptive protests in Italy in 2022, targeting venues including St Mark's Basilica in Venice and the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

lo/rm (AFP, dpa)