Two environment activists smeared red paint on a Claude Monet painting in Stockholm’s National Museum on Wednesday June 14. The piece, dating from 1900, was found to be undamaged after close examination.

Environment activists on Wednesday smeared red paint and glued their hands to the protective glass on a Monet painting at Stockholm’s National Museum, police and the museum said.

“Two women around the ages of 25 and 30 were arrested,” police said, as the organisation Aterstall Vatmarker (Restore Wetlands) claimed responsibility in an interview with AFP.

The museum told AFP it was “not yet known” if the painting itself had been damaged.

The artwork was “The Artist’s Garden at Giverny”, painted by French impressionist Claude Monet in 1900.

“The painting has not been damaged in any way,” said Christophe Leribault, director of Musée d’Orsay in PAris, after being examined by restorers from both museums by videoconference on Thursday morning. Neither the painting nor its frame, which has been brushed with water-based paint, has been damaged, according to Mr. Leribault.

Aterstall Vatmarker posted a video on Facebook where the two women, one a nurse and the other a nursing student, could be seen smearing the paint and gluing their hands to the glass.

The two then shout: “The (climate) situation is acute” and “our health is threatened”.

The museum said it was “naturally” opposed to actions that risk damaging works of art.

“Cultural heritage has great symbolic value and it is unacceptable to attack or destroy it, regardless of the purpose,” acting chief curator Per Hedstrom said.

Malo Pinatel, with AFP