What happened to Gustav Klimt’s Death and Life in Vienna? Who threw oil at painting in Austria Leopold Museum

Footage posted on Last Generation Austria’s Twitter account showed activists throwing liquid at the Gustav Klimt Death and Life painting

<p>Members of the group Last Generation Austria tweeted they had targeted the 1915 painting Death And Life by Gustav Klimt.</p>

Members of the group Last Generation Austria tweeted they had targeted the 1915 painting Death And Life by Gustav Klimt.

Climate activists in Austria attacked a famous painting by artist Gustav Klimt with a black, oily liquid and one then glued himself to glass protecting the painting’s frame.

Members of the group Last Generation Austria tweeted they had targeted the painting Death and Life at the Leopold Museum in Vienna to protest against their government’s use of fossil energies.

It is the latest in a series of climate protests to target high-profile pieces of art across Europe. The group claimed responsibility for the incident on Twitter posting images and video of it.

The Klimt work is an oil on canvas painting in the Art Nouveau style depicting death on the left side and a group of partially naked, hugging people on the right side.

The painting, one of the Austrian symbolist painter’s best-known works, was started in 1908 and finished in 1915. But what happened to it at the Leopold Museum, and who is the group that targeted it?

What happened to Gustav Klimt’s painting Death and Life?

After throwing the liquid on the painting, which was not damaged, one activist was pushed away by a museum guard while another glued his hand to the glass over the painting’s frame.

The group defended the protest, saying in a tweet that they were protesting against “oil and gas drilling” which they called “a death sentence to society”.

In a Tweet it said: “Urgent: Oil thrown at Klimt’s “Death and Life” in the Leopold Museum. Today, people of Last Generation poured a black, oily liquid on Klimt’s “Death and Life” in the Leopold Museum - new oil and gas drilling is a death sentence to humanity.”

In a video of the incident, which the group posted online, one of the activists can be heard shouting that “we have known about the problem for 50 years — we must finally act, otherwise the planet will be broken”. “Stop the fossil fuel destruction. We are racing into a climate hell,” he added.

Members of the group Last Generation Austria tweeted they had targeted the 1915 painting Death And Life by Gustav Klimt.

After the attack, police arrived at the museum and the black liquid was quickly cleaned off the glass protecting the painting, Austria Press Agency reported.

Despite thorough controls at the museum’s entrance, the activists succeeded in bringing the liquid inside by hiding it in a hot water bottle under their clothes, the agency reported. The Leopold Museum could not immediately be reached for comment.

Who are Last Generation Austria?

Known as Letze Generation Österreich the group advocates for action on climate change. On its website it states: “We are the first generation to feel the onset of climate collapse - and the last who can still stop it.” Meanwhile, Last Generation activists in Germany threw mashed potatoes at a Claude Monet painting in Berlin in October.

They are the latest pieces of art to be targeted by climate activists to draw attention to global warming. Different activist groups have staged numerous demonstrations in recent months.

Members of Last Generation targeted the Gustav Klimt painting in the Leopold Museum in Vienna.

The British group Just Stop Oil threw tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers in London’s National Gallery last month. Just Stop Oil activists also glued themselves to the frame of an early copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, and to John Constable’s The Hay Wain in the National Gallery.