To warn about climate change, the Leopold Museum in Vienna hangs its paintings askew

To warn about climate change, the Leopold Museum in Vienna hangs its paintings askew

Through this initiative, the director of the museum Hans-Peter Wipplinger explains “want to warn about the dramatic consequences of the climate crisis”.

“On Lake Attersee”, “The Houses by the Sea”… these masterpieces by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele have been hung askew since last week and until June in Vienna to raise public awareness of climate change.

The famed Leopold Museum, a recent target of environmental activists, has tilted 15 canvases the number of degrees whose depicted landscapes could heat up in years to come if climate change runs out of control. A disturbing vision, when usually these paintings are soothing.

“A temperature increase of just a few degrees would promote algae growth and gradually dry out the beautiful turquoise lake,” reads, for example, next to the Attersee painting.

“A Few Degrees More”

For future generations to be able to admire this landscape as painted by the artist, warming must be contained to 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial era, warns the museum, while experts from the IPCC called for radical action to ensure “a livable future”.

Seeing “beautiful places” in an unstable position is enough to make you sad and “incites to act” for “what will be lost”, told AFP Sofie Skoven, a Danish student visiting with her class in the Austrian capital. .

The project is named “A few more degrees” by this institution housing, with its 6,000 pieces, one of the largest collections of Austrian art in the world, focusing on the second half of the 19th century and the modernism that grew out of it. is followed.

The concept was in fact imagined as a response to activists who in November had sprinkled a painting by Klimt (protected by glass) with a black liquid to denounce a partnership between the museum and the oil giant OMV.

A stunt that the museum manager had little appreciated, denouncing “a bad method”. Because it was necessary to multiply from the windows in front of the canvases, to reinforce the surveillance of the rooms and the controls at the entrance.


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