Museum Visitors Demand Refunds, Claiming No Artworks Were “Souped”

Several visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City this past weekend are requesting refunds, claiming they didn’t witness a climate protest. Whitney Kuspit, 46, one of several visitors seen exiting the museum in a huff on Sunday, lamented that she would have “nothing to complain about at tonight’s cocktail party.”

“I saw 17 original van Goghs. None of them got souped while I was there,” said Kuspit, explaining that she has built her entire personality around criticizing the young activists who risk arrest to draw attention to Earth’s imminent demise while doing nothing to remedy the climate crisis herself.

“I expected to at least see Duccio’s ‘Madonna and Child’ get a little cake in the face, or someone gluing their hands to the Temple of Dendur,” grumbled another disillusioned visitor, Jeremy Saltz, 38, in the comments section of a petition calling for reimbursements.

“Art objects are precious and shouldn’t be targeted, even if they’re protected by museum-quality glass and suffer no material damage while the world continues to burn,” he said. “I was hoping to rant about that on Instagram.”

In a statement, The Met apologized to the disgruntled visitors who shelled out the $30 admission fee for out-of-towners in the hopes of having a chance to gasp loudly and shout obscenities at environmental advocates.

“We understand that some of our visitors were disappointed. We are always looking for innovative ways to engage with current events,” a spokesperson told Hyperallergic, suggesting that audiences “channel their inner climate warrior” by passionately debating the merits of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies instead.

In the wake of the visitor complaints and in an effort to “stay relevant,” the museum announced that its 2025 program will be headlined by a new exhibition tentatively titled Activist Art: When the Hudson River School Met Greta Thunberg.

The group of primarily middle-aged individuals from upper-class backgrounds who launched the refund petition admitted to caring little about art on most days, but feeling “an inexplicable sense of rage” every time they saw a headline about a climate action in a museum.

“It’s cathartic, frankly,” said Kuspit, adding that it’s nice to have something to get angry about that doesn’t require a lot of personal effort.

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