Two activists charged for 'The Girl with the Pearl Earring' climate protest

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By Euronews
Visitors take pictures of Johannes Vermeer's 'Girl with a Pearl Earring'.
Visitors take pictures of Johannes Vermeer's 'Girl with a Pearl Earring'.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Peter Dejong

A Dutch court has charged two men for their involvement in a viral climate protest targeting the iconic painting "The Girl with the Pearl Earring".

During last week’s protest, a man from the group Just Stop Oil Belgium glued his hand to the glass protecting the painting, which was not damaged.

Another activist at the Mauritshuis museum in the Hague poured tomato soup on the first man and then glued his own hand to the wall.

Prosecutors originally wanted to give the men four months behind bars, but the court settled on two months instead, one of which was suspended.

The judge overseeing the case said she gave the two men a shorter sentence because she did want to discourage future protests.

"[The protest] was my own idea. Nobody forced me to do that. I take all responsibility for that," said Wouter M., one of the activists.

“I understand nobody likes this, but I think a lot more people won't like it when more natural disasters happen."

The two activists were charged for the destruction and open violence against the painting. A third activists who filmed the demonstration will appear in court on Friday, choosing to opt-out of a fast-tracked trail.

Just Stop Oil Belgium said after the sentencing, “isn’t it ironic that climate activists who non-violently oppose the mass slaughter of life on Earth are being condemned?”

Their demonstration was just one of several climate protests that have targeted famous artwork in Europe, including a demonstration in London in which climate protesters threw soup over Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”.

That painting was also not damaged during the demonstration.