FLORENCE, ITALY -- Italian environmental activists glued their hands Friday to the glass protecting Sandro Botticelli's painting "Spring" in the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, police said. The museum said thanks to the glass, which was installed as a precaution several years ago, the masterpiece was unharmed.
Paired with the Florentine artist's other masterpiece, "Birth of Venus," the two iconic canvases, dating from the late 15th century, are among the museum's most popular artworks. The painting is large, standing 10 feet, 6 inches by 6 feet, 9 inches.
Carabinieri police said two young women and a man, all Italians who had bought entrance tickets, staged the protest in the Uffizi's room dedicated to the painter. The activists sat on the floor and displayed a banner reading, "Last Generation No Gas No Coal," police said.
The glue was safely removed from the glass.
The Corriere della Sera newspaper quoted the activists as saying in a statement: "Today, is it possible to see a beautiful Spring like this?"
The three were taken to a police station in Florence. Italian media said the activists were issued official orders to stay out of the tourist-popular city for three years, using a strategy in Italy similar to that often applied to violent soccer fans.