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Radical climate change activists targeted another priceless piece of art on Thursday, smearing paint onto the pedestal and glass encasement protecting a famous Edgar Degas sculpture.
The vandalism occurred at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and was directed at a sculpture called “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen.” Degas, a French Impressionist, finished the sculpture in 1881, and it has been primarily kept in D.C. since 1999.
“Today a priceless work of art in our collection, Degas’s original wax Little Dancer, was attacked by protestors with swaths of red and black paint. After attacking the Degas sculpture, they made statements about climate issues,” said Kaywin Feldman, the director of the museum, in a statement. “We unequivocally denounce this physical attack on one of our works of art and will continue to share information as it becomes available.”
Feldman said that the sculpture had been removed from the gallery for evaluation and that the gallery in which it could be viewed had been closed for the day. She said that the FBI would be aiding in the investigation of the incident.
According to The Washington Post, which obtained footage of the incident, the protesters hoped to trigger a declaration of emergency over the climate from President Joe Biden.
Protesters smeared paint on the case and pedestal of Edgar Degas’s “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen” sculpture in the National Gallery of Art in D.C. to bring attention to the climate crisis and demand that President Biden declare a climate emergency. https://t.co/FWiuFqJzId pic.twitter.com/8AQkeIWlQH
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 27, 2023
In the video, a man and a woman can be seen slapping black and red paint on both the pedestal the sculpture was resting on. In the video, both claim that the government is not doing enough to deal with climate change before they were detained by security.
Declare Emergency, a far-Left group that often protests against the “fossil fuel death project,” said that the protests were by two of its activists, who it named as 53-year-old Joanna Smith of New York City and 54-year-old Tim Martin of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Climate activists have staged similar protests around the world, targeting renowned works of art, typically only damaging the encasements of the art. In October, a pair of vandals threw tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s iconic “Sunflowers,” at an art museum in London.
The painting, valued at nearly $85 million, was undamaged in the attack at London’s National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, thanks to a glass covering. But the shocking display left museum-goers gasping and calling for security.