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Climate activist tries to glue his head to iconic "Girl with a Pearl Earring" painting in Dutch museum

Activists throw mashed potatoes on painting
Climate activists throw mashed potatoes on a Monet painting to protest fossil fuel extraction 01:04

Johannes Vermeer's iconic painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring"  was targeted by climate activists at a Dutch museum on Thursday in the latest public demonstration of vandalism on famous art pieces. 

Footage posted on social media showed one man pouring a can of what appeared to be a type of liquid while also trying to glue himself to the iconic artwork at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague. He was joined by another man who was wearing a "Just Stop Oil" t-shirt and shouted a message at patrons.

"How do you feel when you see something beautiful and priceless being apparently destroyed before your eyes?" he said. "Do you feel outrage? Good. Where is that feeling when you see the planet being destroyed before our very eyes?"

As visitors voiced their displeasure to the protester, he told them the art is protected by glass and it's "just fine." 

"Vulnerable people in the global south, they need to be protected," he said. "The future of our children is not protected."  

Police said in a tweet that they've arrested three people for "public violence against property." In a statement to the Associated Press, the museum said Vermeer's famed painting was not damaged. 

"The condition of the painting has been investigated by our conservators. Fortunately, the glazed masterpiece was not damaged," the museum said.

A police woman stands guard outside the Mauritshuis museum after an attempt to smear the Johannes Vermeer's painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring" in The Hague, 27 October 2022.  PHIL NIJHUIS/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

CBS News reached out to the Mauritshuis museum, but did not immediately hear back. 

This incident comes after a recent string of eco-inspired protests throughout Europe. Earlier this month, environmental protesters threw tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" painting at the National Gallery in central London. On Sunday, two climate activists threw mashed potatoes at Claude Monet's "Les Meules" in Germany's Museum Barberini and then glued themselves underneath the painting. 

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