A Dutch court on Wednesday sentenced two environmentalists to two months in prison for targeting Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring.
Three men in their 40s from neighboring Belgium were arrested last week in a raid on a 1665 painting at Belgium’s Mauritshuis in an effort to raise awareness about the future of the planet.
Two activists glued the painting to the adjacent wall, while another activist nearby poured what appeared to be tomato sauce out of a can.
The work, which inspired a best-selling novel and a Hollywood movie, was undamaged and was on display again the next day, the museum said.
But a court in The Hague said the wall’s frame and surrounding parts were damaged in what many considered “shocking” actions, ANP reported.
Quoting one judge, the ANP said, “Everyone can imagine the fragility of such a painting and the fact that it could have been lost if it had gone wrong.”
Prosecutors had originally requested four months in prison for the two, two months of which were suspended.
Wouter M., who was charged with gluing his head to the glass frame protecting the work, claimed to have thoroughly researched the risks of doing so before, ANP reported.
The event was filmed by Peter G.
A third activist who emptied the tin can is due to go on trial on Friday, the media said.
The Vermeer protests are just the latest in a string of such events in recent weeks.
Last month, environmentalists poured tomato soup over Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in London and threw mashed potatoes at a Claude Monet painting in Germany.
https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/netherlands-jails-activists-who-targeted-vermeer-masterpiece-383396/ Holland imprisons activist who targeted Vermeer’s masterpiece