Girl with the Pearl Earring vandalised by climate protesters

‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’ is now the third culprit of attacks by climate change protestors, joining Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ and Monet’s ‘Les Meules’. 

The painting by Johannes Vermeer, a Dutch painter who lived during the Dutch Golden Age, was smeared Thursday afternoon in the Mauritshuis in The Hague, reports the NOS.

One protestor was recorded glueing his head to the painting, while another activist threw a can of what appears to be canned tomatoes onto the painting. 

Just Stop Oil strikes again

Just Stop Oil is a UK-based activism group who are against the production of fossil fuels. 

Three activists from the group were arrested after the attack, and the museum is now closed. 

As for us, we just hope Vermeer’s painting is safe, but it’s unclear as of now whether or not the painting was protected by glass like the previous culprits of these attacks. 

Translation: BREAK – Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer smeared in #Mauritshuis


This attack comes less than two weeks after two activists were also recorded throwing tomato soup at Van Gogh’s famous painting, ‘Sunflowers’ in the National Gallery in London, United Kingdom. 

Why bother throwing stuff at famous paintings?

The biggest question now brewing in people’s minds; why would you want to ruin such iconic, beautiful paintings from our past?

The good news for us art enjoyers is that the paintings so far have been encased behind glass, so the most damage that has been caused by activists has been to the frame only. Basically; the paintings are generally safe. 

READ MORE | Climate activist glues himself to the table during popular Dutch TV show

But, the message behind this seemingly odd action is a simple one; Just Stop Oil wants to prevent the UK from investing in any more new licenses for the production of fossil fuels. 

And, their way of garnering support; trashing famous paintings in the hopes of grabbing people’s attention.

What do you think of the activist’s methods? Tell us your thoughts in a comment below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Heather Slevin
Heather Slevin
Heather is a Dublin native, addicted to catching the Luas, the Irish version of a tram, for one stop, and well used to the constant rain and shine. Seeking to swap one concrete city for another (with a few more canals and a friendlier attitude to cyclists) here she is with the Dutch Review! As a Creative Writing student, she can usually be found sweating over the complicated formatting of her latest poem or deep inside the pages of a book, and loves writing, writing, writing.
  1. That doesn’t count as terrorism, John. They aren’t endangering people or their survival. Climate change is and soon it will be too late, unfortunately. They’re desperate and trying to call attention to this issue. As much as I love art and history, soon those things won’t matter. Much of it will be destroyed by floods etc and not many people will be around to enjoy them.


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