Protesters Defile Andy Warhol Art Car in Italy

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Climate-change protesters doused a car painted by Andy Warhol in flour in Milan, Italy, last week.


The car, a BMW M1, was covered in baking ingredients by the group Ultima Generazione (Last Generation), which has targeted art displays. The group tossed soup over a Van Gogh painting in Rome on November 4th and they threw a black liquid over a Gustav Klint painting in Vienna on November 15th. Neither painting suffered harm.

Warhol painted this M1 in 1979 -- the same year in which it ran in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The attack coincided with the COP27 climate-change conference being held in Egypt.

Allow me to editorialize for a second -- while I am all for stopping climate change and building a more sustainable future for us and our children and grandchildren (and so on), I don't understand the point of this activism.

This isn't some bias towards the car, which I'd never heard of before last week -- I am sure it will be fine. It's just that, other than trying to get attention (which, I suppose, the group is getting from us and other outlets), I don't see the point in this.

How do paintings and rare BMWs relate to climate change? Yes, a car from 1979 would produce tailpipe emissions, but this car was probably never going to run again. Also, it's not like M1s are a symbol of excess pollution from a motor vehicle -- try the Hummer from a few years back for that.

If it were me, and I was an activist, I'd be attacking symbols of excess pollution and doing it a bit closer to where COP27 was taking place. But that's just me. Instead, I will continue to be baffled at what these folks were trying to accomplish.

[Image: DisobeyArt/Shutterstock.com]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Nov 24, 2022

    "The climate terrorists work for global corporate fascism. "


    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-deniers-shift-tactics-to-inactivism/


  • Jeff S Jeff S on Nov 24, 2022

    Thanks Lou good link. I try to be responsible on my end but if people don't want to change and they are deniers then maybe I shouldn't be that concerned since I don't have any children. As I stated previously the Earth will survive regardless of what man does to it but mankind might not. If we die off then nature can possibly replace us with a better and smarter species.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jeff S Jeff S on Nov 25, 2022

      Lou_BC--Agree. We as a species and a civilization are self-destructive. Based on current events the US might not survive as long as the Roman Empire but it has been a good run for as long as it has lasted. If higher life forms do exist we might be too primitive and uncivilized for them.


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