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Life & Style

Vienna ‘few degrees’ exhibit tilts paintings to call for climate action

Published March 23, 2023
A visitor of the Leopold museum looks at the painting ‘A boy at the spring’ by Albin Egger Lienz after the museum tilted 15 of its paintings in protest of climate change in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Reuters
A visitor of the Leopold museum looks at the painting ‘A boy at the spring’ by Albin Egger Lienz after the museum tilted 15 of its paintings in protest of climate change in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Reuters

VIENNA: A Vienna museum where climate activists recently attacked the glass screen shielding a Gustav Klimt painting has responded with an exhibit entitled ‘A Few Degrees More’ that tilts works to draw attention to the need for action on climate change.

Activists from the group Last Generation smeared the screen in front of Klimt’s ‘Death and Life’ at the Leopold Museum in Vienna and glued one of their hands to it in the November protest calling for an end to drilling for oil.

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“We found this way to be absolutely the wrong one,” the museum’s artistic director, Hans-Peter Wipplinger, told Reuters on the opening day of its response: a small exhibition with the full title ‘A Few Degrees More (Will Turn the World into an Uncomfortable Place)’.

Vienna’s Leopold museum tilts paintings by a few degrees in protest of climate change

It involves hanging 15 works by artists including Klimt and fellow Austrian great Egon Schiele at an angle, with texts calling attention to the effect that global warming of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels would have on the landscapes depicted in them.

According to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), emissions must be halved by the mid-2030s if the world is to have any chance of limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels - a key target enshrined in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

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“We wanted to initiate something productive, something communicative. That means conveying a message and not just in spectacular images (such as the protest) but by helping visitors learn about the situation and the various contexts of this global heating,” Wipplinger said.

The exhibition runs until June 26.

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