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BerandaNewsCourt Decides Activists Who Glued Themselves to Vermeer Painting Don’t Deserve Jail Time

Court Decides Activists Who Glued Themselves to Vermeer Painting Don’t Deserve Jail Time

A Dutch court of appeals has decided that a small group of climate activists who received two month in jail for gluing themselves to Johannes Vermeer‘s The Girl with the Pearl Earring no longer need to serve their sentence. berkahpoker

According to CNN, the court said that the three activists, who are part of the protest group Just Stop Oil Belgium, spent 23 days in holding cells leading up to the trial. The court ruled that additional prison time “would have been excessive.”

The court added that doling out a severe punishment might have a “chilling effect,” and that it wanted to ensure that those who want to peacefully protest or exercise their right to freedom of expression aren’t discouraged.

The attack on Vermeer’s most recognizable painting happened in October 2022, at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague. One man glued his bald head to the painting, which his covered by a protective glass, before a second man covered him in tomato soup. The second man then glued his own hand to the wall next to the painting.  A third person filmed the event.

The protestors wore white T-shirts printed with the words “Just Stop Oil.” According to CNN, however, Just Stop Oil Belgium is not affiliated with the UK’s Just Stop Oil movement.  berkahpoker

After the attack the museum issued a statement saying that the painting had not been damaged, though the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service said that there was some damage to the picture’s 19th-century frame.

Attacking works of art has for years been a method of attracting attention for political reasons. In 2022, activists across Europe set upon some of the most recognizable works of art with everything from mashed potatoes to hammers in the name of climate change. Most recently, this past November, activists tied to the Just Stop Oil movement attacked the Diego Velázquez masterpiece The Toilet of Venus in London’s National Gallery.