Daniel Hug, the director of the Art Cologne exhibition, has said he “hopes” that climate protesters will not target the show when it takes place between November 17-20. “I hope they do not come,” Hug said in an interview with local newspaper the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger published in Saturday’s edition. “I support climate protests, I consider the climate crisis very bad. But I’m against the destruction of art.”
‘At Art Cologne the pictures are not behind glass’
Hug’s comments follow several activists targeting artworks in Germany and around Europe for climate demonstrations in recent weeks, often throwing food or liquid at them in their displays in museums.
But Hug warned that, unlike in the more renowned recent instances, the artworks at Art Cologne were usually not behind a protective screen or in a frame. (Also Read: Ringing in Carnival: A 2,000-year-old tradition)
“At Art Cologne the pictures are not behind glass, and most of them are privately owned. That could get expensive, I would not recommend it. What’s more, you can’t glue yourself to the frame at our show. You’d just have a bit of canvas stuck to your hand,” Hug said.
Norwegian police reported activists targeting Edvard Munch’s famous painting “The Scream” at the National Museum in Oslo on Friday. Past cases have targeted renowned works by van Gogh, Monet and others.
Groups including Just Stop Oil, Extinction Rebellion and a German group calling itself Last Generation (Letzte Generation) have arranged such demonstrations.
In most cases the paintings themselves have not been damaged despite other damage to property.
On Thursday, a collection of leading museums around the world issued a joint statement accusing protesters of “seriously underestimating the fragility of these irreplaceable objects.”
Ukraine, inflation unlikely to negatively affect art show
Asked about the impact of other world news on the art show, such as the war in Ukraine or rising energy prices, Hug said “there is always some crisis” and said that he did not think they would have a major impact on the exhibition or the art market.
“Financially we are still well placed and, if you keep up with the reporting, the art market seems healthy. En vogue art is still in high demand, there are still waiting lists. I don’t think the current crises will have an impact on Art Cologne,” Hug said.