An eco-fanatic who glued herself to the frame of a 16th century Old Master has been jailed for four months by judges in Germany.
Activist Maja Winkelmann, 24, was arrested after sticking herself to the priceless masterpiece by German Renaissance artist Lucas Cranach the Elder.
Tiergarten District Court, Berlin, found her guilty of attempted collective coercion, resistance and damaging property at the hearing on 26th April.
The court heard how Winkelmann and fellow activist Lina Eichler, 19, glued their hands to the frame of the 1504 painting, ‘The Rest on the Flight into Egypt’.
The attack – at the Gemaeldegalerie Art Museum in Berlin in August last year – shocked art lovers around the world.
Prosecutors said the pair caused more than EUR 2,300 (GBP 2,033) of damage to the frame.
In her defence, Winkelmann – a member of the Last Generation eco group – said: “I act out of love for life.”
She went on: “No one intends to destroy art. But what good is it if nobody is there to look at it?”
She said she had chosen the painting “because it was so peaceful”.
Witness art historian Stefan K., 62, explained that the adhesive had to be painstakingly removed by two restorers.
He said: “The carved wooden frame with gold mount is over 400 years old, completely unique.”
Meanwhile, the defence argued that the frame was not part of the artwork.
They asked: “Did you have to restore it at all?
“Traces of time and changes in status bear witness to history. You might even increase the value of a work of art.”
But presiding judge Susanne Wortmann dismissed the defence’s arguments and told Winkelmann: “You have crossed the line of legitimate protest.
“It is unacceptable that parts of society do not comply with the law because of their goals.”
Winkelmann also had to answer for a protest in the Hohenzollerndamm area of Berlin on 21st June, 2022, at the same hearing.
She was fined EUR 1,350 (GBP 1,193) in January this year, for taking part in four other road blockages.
Her attorney immediately appealed the judge’s verdict.
It is not known whether Eichler will also face a trial.
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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