Why An Iconic Monet Painting Was Attacked With Mashed Potatoes

The most recent attack took place in Potsdam, in Germany, at the Museum Barberini, according to The Guardian. The museum has art from a variety of different countries and periods, but has a particularly large collection of Impressionist pieces, including pieces from famous artists like Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, and, of course, Claude Monet (via Museum Barberini Potsdam). In fact, according to the museum’s website, “there is no venue in Europe outside of Paris where visitors can see more works by [Monet].”

Even amongst Impressionists, Monet stands out: He helped found the Impressionist movement, according to Britannica, and was particularly well-known for his series of paintings that included the same motif over and over again. That includes his haystacks series, painted between 1890 and 1891. The Museum Barberini has at least one of these paintings, called Les Meules, or Haystacks. It was this painting that was attacked by protestors in October 2022.

So what happened on the day of the attack? Armed with mashed potatoes, two protesters entered the museum and made their way to the Monet painting. There, they threw food on the painting and quickly glued themselves to the gallery walls in order to make themselves harder to remove, according to NBC News.