Climate protesters hurl paint at Milan's La Scala opera house

FILE PHOTO: Milan's La Scala opera house re-opens to the public

MILAN (Reuters) -Climate-change activists in Italy on Wednesday threw paint at the entrance of Milan's famed La Scala opera house ahead of the opening performance of the season, local police said.

Activists have staged high-profile protests across Europe in recent months, sometimes targeting museums and art works in calling for tougher action to tackle global warming.

The Ultima Generazione (Last Generation) movement said in a statement they were responsible for the Milan episode.

"Instead of taking the necessary measures to safeguard Italy's future from drought and climate disasters, politics is locking itself away to enjoy a show for a few people", it said.

Twelve people were killed on the southern Italian holiday island of Ischia last month after a landslide caused by torrential rain devastated a small town.

During the summer, the worst drought in 70 years hit northern areas around the river Po, which accounts for roughly a third of the country's agricultural production.

Over the last month, Ultima Generazione has hurled soup over a Van Gogh work in Rome, thrown a black liquid on a Gustav Klimt painting in Vienna and flour over a sports car painted by the U.S. pop artist Andy Warhol that was on display in Milan.

Police said they had detained five people following the incident at La Scala, while cleaners swiftly removed the paint from the entrance of the theatre.

La Scala will open its 2022-23 season on Wednesday, one of the highlights of the Italian cultural calendar, with a performance of the Russian opera "Boris Godunov".

It is due to be attended by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

(Reporting by Sara Rossi and Fabiano Franchitti; Writing by Gianluca Semeraro; Editing by Gavin Jones and Arun Koyyur)