Last Generation Climate Protest at the Uffizi

The March 2 Ultima Generazione climate change protest at the Uffizi Gallery

A group of five young climate activists associated with the Last Generation group staged a protest the morning of March 3 at the Uffizi Gallery in front of the Botticelli’s painting of Primavera (Spring).

The activists attached photos to the glass protecting the artwork and the walls around the room. Custodians turned off the light asking visitors to leave while the protestors shouted phrases in defense of climate and the environment. Having purchased tickets to visit the Uffizi, demonstrators came in and were able to make their point before Italian military police intervened.

The photos were from the damage caused by severe flooding connected with climate change that occurred last November in the provinces of Florence, Prato, and Pistoia. The flyers that were distributed were also asking for reparation funds for Tuscan residents. On the back of the flyer it read, “In 2023, in Campi Bisenzio, the mud destroyed everything, leaving behind over two billion euros in damages and seven deaths. The government has not yet given money to the affected people. Politicians talk about safety, but the only safety that is respected is that of the market. The government punishes those who ask for it with a fine of €20,000. Last Generation demands that the State takes care of its citizens with a Reparation Fund of 20 billion euros for all victims of climate disasters.”

The fine of €20,000 “punishing those who ask for it” refers to the new ordinance outlining the amount that activists will be charged if their actions involve or damage state property.

Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said, “These eco-vandals will pay out of their own pocket: in addition to being referring to the judicial authorities, the authors of this latest outrage to our cultural heritage have been fined for involving the artwork and the spaces of the Uffizi gallery where Botticelli’s Primavera is hosted, as required by the legislation wanted by this government to counter the pseudo-activists who improperly make our museums their own stage in contempt of those who visit and work there.”

On Instagram the group posted, “We cannot continue to pretend nothing has happened in the face of people’s deaths. A #ReparationFund is now needed to repair their losses.” This demonstration is linked to the same protest that happened on February 13 when the Last Generation activist hung the same photos on the same glass of the flooded areas.

Last Generation has staged multiple other demonstrations throughout the city. In July 2022, members of the group glued their hands on the same Primavera painting to draw attention to the exploitation of fossil fuels around the world and urge people to use renewable energies instead. In February 2023, red and yellow paint was spray painted on the headquarters of the Tuscan Regional Council under the same fossil fuel theme. Then in March 2023, €30,000 was spent to clean up spray paint on medieval architecture in Piazza Signoria. The group was protesting federal cutbacks of spending designed to prevent negative environmental impact. (Sophia Koch)