Climate activists stage a protest inside Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum to raise their voice about the impact of farming on carbon emission. The activists, part of Extinction Rebellion’s youth chapter, held up banners and wore t-shirts condemning large mining and drilling companies, while standing in front of Rembrandt's Night Watch painting. The museum has received criticism over its ongoing partnerships with airline KLM and investment bank ING Group, both of which have connections to fossil fuel production. However, a spokesperson for the Rijksmuseum said that the protest didn't harm the exhibition, adding that those involved in the protest were guided out without any violence.
Climate Activist Group Protests at Rembrandt’s Night Watch at Rijksmuseum
Source: courtesy Extinction Rebellion NL
The Netherlands’ youth chapter of the climate activist organization Extinction Rebellion protested on Sunday in front of Rembrandt’s Night Watch painting at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Two protestors held a vinyl sign with a modified image of the famous Dutch painting, showing the night watchmen submerged in water. The image was a direct reference to the group’s slogan: “There is no art on a flooded planet”.
The ten participants, ranging in ages from 15 to 22 years old, wore t-shirts that said “Stop Fossil Subsidies” and displayed images from the painting with the caption “They Can’t Swim”.
“The science is clear, we can no longer escape it: the earth is warming up, the sea level is rising and the weather is becoming more and more extreme. It is obvious that this is due to the fossil industry, an industry that the Rijksmuseum is still sponsoring”, said a 19-year-old protester Yara said during the protest, in reference to the museum’s partnerships with airline KLM and investment bank ING, according to Reuters.
According to a tweet by the Extinction Rebellion, the Rjiksmuseum attempted to hide the protest with limited success.
A spokesperson for Rijksmuseum told the Dutch press agency ANP that the protest didn’t cause any damage to the painting and that the protesters were escorted outside without incident.
The protest took place during a high-profile time for the Rijksmuseum. Its hotly-anticipated, critically-acclaimed retrospective on Johannes Vermeer sold out only two days after opening to the public. The exhibition ends on June 4, 2023.