Italian environmental activists glued their hands to the glass protecting Sandro Botticelli’s masterpiece at the Uffizi Galleries in Florence on Friday, police said.
The museum said that thanks to the glass, installed as a precaution a few years ago, the painting “Primavera” or “Spring” was not damaged.
Combined with another masterpiece by the Florentine artist, The Birth of Venus, two iconic canvases dating from the late 15th century are among the museum’s most popular works of art. The painting is large, about two meters high and over three meters wide.
The carabinieri said two young women and a man – all Italians – bought tickets and staged a protest in the Uffizi hall dedicated to the artist.
The activists sat on the floor and hung out a poster that read “Last generation – no gas, no coal,” the police said.
The newspaper Corriere della Sera quoted the activists as saying, “Is it possible to see such a beautiful spring today?”
All three were taken to the Florence police station. Italian media are reporting that activists have been officially ordered not to enter the popular tourist city for three years, using a strategy in Italy similar to that often applied to violent football fans.