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Visitors take pictures of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring at the Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands in June 2014. Photo: AP

Climate activist glues head to Girl with a Pearl Earring painting

  • An unidentified liquid was also thrown at the Vermeer artwork, though gallery staff said it was not damaged
  • Just Stop Oil, the group behind a similar stunt targeting Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in London, has claimed responsibility for the act

A climate activist glued his head to glass covering the world-famous Girl with a Pearl Earring painting at a museum in The Hague on Thursday, though the artwork was not damaged, gallery staff said.

A second activist glued their hand to the wall next to the 1665 work by Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, and an unidentified liquid was thrown, the Mauritshuis museum said.

An unverified video on social media showed two men near the painting, both wearing “Just Stop Oil” T-shirts.

“The police were notified and three people have been arrested. The condition of the painting was inspected by our restorer. Fortunately, the glass-covered masterwork was not damaged,” the museum said.

Earlier this month, Just Stop Oil activists threw soup over Vincent van Gogh’s painting Sunflowers at London’s National Gallery. That painting was also shielded by glass.

In videos from the Dutch museum posted online on Thursday, one of the men says: “How do you feel when you see something beautiful and priceless being apparently destroyed before your very eyes?”

“That is that same feeling when you see the planet being destroyed,” he adds.

The two men in the video were seen being escorted away by police in more footage.

Protesters throw soup over Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’

Dutch police said in a statement they had arrested three Belgian men in their 40s for damage to public property and were conducting a forensic investigation. They were being questioned.

A statement from Just Stop Oil said its activists were responsible and had thrown soup.

“The message is clear: if humanity does not immediately stop using fossil fuels, it will become extinct,” it said. “They would never defile a work of art not covered with protective glass.”

Dutch Junior Minister for Culture Gunay Uslu said “everyone has the right to make a point. But please: leave our shared heritage alone. Attacking defenceless works of art is not the right way.”