Climate Protesters Smear Paint Around Sculpture at National Gallery of Art
Climate activists targeted a renowned sculpture by Edgar Degas at the National Gallery of Art in Washington on Thursday, April 27.
Two protesters smeared red and black paint over the plinth and casing of Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, footage of the incident showed.
“We need our leaders to take serious action, to tell us the truth about what is happening with the climate,” one of the protesters can be heard saying.
“I have a job that requires health and safety, but I can’t do my job unless I have a government that does their job in looking out for the health and safety of our children,” another protester said.
Declare Emergency, a climate emergency activist organization, claimed responsibility for the protest.
The sculpture was removed and will undergo damage assessment from the museum’s conservation team, the National Gallery told The Hill. Credit: Declare Emergency via Storyful
- What the heck are these people doing?
- Are they supposed to be?
- I don't know. I can't imagine there, Fred. Like, they're doing something to that little dancer, and nobody's noticing so far. These people have business suits and all. Hm.
- To go out of here, make a right.
- Oh. Are you supposed to do that? Calm down. Calm down.
- I'm sorry.
- What's happening? Called it in.
- Security to V3 immediately. Right now--
- Hello, friends. My name is Joanne. I'm a mom from Brooklyn. I'm here today-- I'm here today in DC. I'm in a place that I respect, that I consider--
- Everyone stand back, please.
- The highest--
- Everybody step back, please. Step back, please.
- It's beautiful, and we're destroying it, like climate change. We need our leaders to take serious action to tell us the truth about what is happening with the climate. We need to stop on the right with drilling.
- Our children, we are worried like most Americans about climate and about biodiversity crisis, and we need our leaders to step up, put their differences aside, and simply be responsible. We are adults. We should be at home working. I have a job that requires health and safety, but I can't do my job unless I have a government that does their job in looking out for the health and safety of our children. This is all of our children, especially the global south who are all living in this country.
- The most vulnerable, and that's why we decided to taboo this beautiful beloved child that the world knows. She had sisters all over the world. This is the original vision of the artist right here. She's imperfect, like we all are imperfect, but she's strong and she's not-- she is not trying to defend her.
- Step back.
- Oh, don't hurt them. Move it along.
- Back up. Back up.
- We our parents, and our first job is to protect our children, and these are children.
- No. No.
- Future children, we have to protect her children. The climate crisis is unfolding now. It's right in front of us. Our leaders have plans, and some of them are good, but the others are completely erased. I'm willing to move.
- Still away.
- Everybody out. Get out. Out.
- Just gather up. We need you out.