The German Chancellor denounces the punch actions of environmental activists

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UPDATE DAY

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday criticized recent attacks by environmental activists on paintings in museums, saying there are “other ways to express an opinion”.

“I am saddened by what is happening and happy that no (…) irreparable damage has been caused” to the paintings, he said, during a conference of press in Berlin.

Several European museums have been targeted in recent days by actions of activists who have sprayed various substances on paintings to warn of global warming.

In Potsdam, near Berlin, it was a painting by Monet, Meules, which was targeted last week by mashed potatoes. Activists had thrown tomato soup on October 14 at Van Gogh's Sunflowers in London. 

The paintings were protected by glass.

Even if it is necessary to “accept criticism and protests”, the Chancellor considered that “there are other ways of expressing an opinion”.

In Germany, street blockages and tough actions by environmental activists have increased in recent weeks, in the run-up to COP27, which will be held from November 6 to 18 in Egypt.

In the capital German, two activists glued themselves Sunday to a pole supporting the skeleton of a dinosaur exhibited in the Museum of Natural History.

Monday morning, a collective called “Letzte Generation” (“Last generation”) again blocked a road in Berlin.

This action delayed, according to the German press, an ambulance which was to rescue a cyclist victim of a road accident.

“If this is confirmed, it is very regrettable”, deplored Mr. Scholz, considering that it “is important that (help) arrives as quickly as possible to the wounded”.

The Letzte Generation group indicated for its part that it “cannot” rule out that the delay in relief was caused by the traffic jam that their action caused.

Inter rogated by AFP, neither the police nor the fire brigade could confirm the facts.