Activists coat entrance of Amsterdam’s Beurs van Berlage in green paint

The Beurs van Berlage on the Damrak in Amsterdam was doused in green paint overnight. Passing police officers noticed the vandalism early on Wednesday morning. The action was believed to be in protest to a closed, unannounced event currently happening inside the landmark building, called the Regenerative Agriculture and Food Systems Summit.

According to local media, about ten protesters gathered in front of the building at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The purpose of their demonstration was unclear, and it was not immediately known if they were demonstrating against a specific event. Several media outlets said they appeared to be climate activists, but could not be certain.

A press release sent by the activists to AD accused the companies taking part in the event of “greenwashing.” Participants include ABN Amro, Rabobank, and Unilever, with talks about how to farm in a way that also restores nature. However, the activists allege that these companies are abusing the term, “regenerative agriculture,” to instead give their “dirty industry” the appearance of being more sustainable.

“The industrial system that these agricultural giants want to maintain and greenwash is not regenerative, but rather creates food insecurity for the majority of the world’s population,” they said in their statement.

Event organizers at the Beurs van Berlage would not confirm to a reporter from Parool which event was taking place in the building. But as they were expecting a protest, they decided not to advertise the event at all.

“I was prepared for something to happen, but I did not expect that they would deface a landmark building like this,” the event organizer told AT5. The building manager called in a specialized company to see if they could clean the green paint off the building.

Built in the early 20th century, the Beurs van Berlage is the former home of the Amsterdam stock exchange. The building by architect H. P. Berlage is considered to be an important monument for the Amsterdam School style of architecture.

The building is now used for conferences, events, and courses. Also, several dozen businesses and organizations have offices there.

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