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Artworks in Berlin museums vandalized with 'oily liquid'

Artworks in Berlin museums vandalized with 'oily liquid'
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Berlin officials said dozens of exhibitions in the city’s Museum Island complex were vandalized with an “oily liquid.”

At least 63 artworks in three museums have been the target of the attacks, The New York Times reported. Police said they have no leads after reviewing surveillance footage, and that they had identified the liquid but would not say what it was publicly.

“To this day, we are not able to pinpoint exactly when the objects were damaged,” Berlin state police investigator Carsten Pfohl said in a Wednesday press conference.

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Investigators said the vandals were able to move through the museum undetected and may have used a device like a squirt gun or bottle.

“Once again … the National Museums in Berlin must be asked questions about their security measures,” said Monika Grütters, Germany’s minister for culture, according to the Times. “It must be clarified how this much damage could have gone unnoticed, and how such attacks are to be prevented in the future.”

She called for a full report on security protocols in German museums, according to the newspaper.

German media have linked the vandalism to conspiracy theorists who have spread baseless rumors the museum is linked to Satanism.

Chef and cookbook author Attila Hildmann, a follower of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, has encouraged his social media followers to destroy one of the facilities, the Pergamon Museum. Pfohl would not comment on whether investigators have tied the vandalism to the conspiracy theories, according to the Times.

Friederike Seyfried, director of the museum complex’s Egyptian collection, said none of the museum’s most prominent works had been damaged by the vandals.

“The museums were open as usual throughout, and most of the damaged objects have been cleaned,” Markus Farr, a spokesman for the National Museums, said in a statement. “Some of the stones are still being analyzed regarding what kind restoration is necessary.”