Activists from the Last Generation environmental group sprayed orange paint on all six columns of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Sunday as the city braces for more climate demonstrations in the coming days.
Police took 14 people into custody on suspicion of criminal damage to property and cordoned off the German capital’s most iconic sight. Dozens of emergency personnel responded to the incident.
Last Generation said that fire extinguishers were used to spray the landmark on Sunday morning.
Paint was also sprayed on Pariser Platz, the square located in front of the Brandenburg Gate at the western end of Unter den Linden boulevard.
Police said they were able to prevent the demonstrators from climbing the monument, which was built in 1788–91.
Last Generation members have called for renewed street blockades in the German capital to begin on Monday for an indefinite period.
The group, which is known for having members glue themselves to road surfaces, is demanding the end to fossil fuel use by 2030.
The German government is targeting 2045 for a climate-neutral economy.
Since spring 2022, Last Generation has been protesting across Germany. Political party headquarters have been targeted with paint, as have luxury shops and a private jet at the capital’s BER airport.
The group’s new protest initiative for Berlin kicked off on Wednesday with a march involving hundreds of participants.
Berlin’s mayor Kai Wegner sharply criticised Sunday’s protest.
Berlin supports “freedom of expression and fair debate about our future”, he said.
“With these actions, this group is not only damaging the historic Brandenburg Gate, but also our free discourse on the important issues of our time and future,” he said.
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