Climate activists target art: Van Gogh’s masterpiece ‘Sunflowers’ defaced

© Just Stop Oil, AP

NEWS WIRES

Fri, 14 October 2022 at 6:46 pm

Environmental protesters threw tomato soup over one of Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” paintings at London’s National Gallery on Friday, in the latest “direct-action” stunt targeting works of art.

The gallery in Trafalgar Square said the protesters caused “minor damage to the frame but the painting is unharmed”. The painting went back on display a few hours after the attack.

Protest group Just Stop Oil, which was behind the action, wants to end UK government approval for exploring, developing and producing fossil fuels, and has mounted a series of high-profile protests.

London’s Metropolitan Police said officers arrested two protesters from the organisation for criminal damage and aggravated trespass after they “threw a substance” at the painting in the gallery and glued themselves to a wall, just after 11 am (1000 GMT).

Police added they had unglued the protesters and taken them to a central London police station.

A video posted on Twitter by the Guardian newspaper’s environment correspondent Damien Gayle and retweeted by the eco-activism group shows two young women wearing T-shirts bearing the slogan “Just Stop Oil” lobbing cans of soup at the iconic painting.

‘Keep getting soup’

After glueing themselves to the wall, one of the activists shouts: “What is worth more, art or life?”

“Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting or the protection of our planet and people?” she asks.

In the video, someone can be heard yelling “oh my God” as the soup hits the canvas and another person shouts “security!” while soup drips from the frame onto the floor.

(AFP)

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