Climate Protesters Throw Soup on Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’

LONDON (AP) — Climate protesters threw soup over Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in London’s National Gallery on Friday to protest fossil gas extraction, however prompted no injury to the glass-covered portray.

The group Just Stop Oil, which desires the British authorities to halt new oil and fuel initiatives, stated activists dumped two cans of tomato soup over the oil portray, one of many Dutch artist’s most iconic works. The two protesters additionally glued themselves to the gallery wall.

The soup splashed throughout the glass protecting the portray and its gilded body. The gallery stated “there’s some minor injury to the body however the portray is unhurt.” It was cleaned and returned to its place within the gallery on Friday afternoon.

The work is one among a number of variations of “Sunflowers” that Van Gogh painted within the late Eighteen Eighties.

London’s Metropolitan Police stated officers arrested two individuals on suspicion of legal injury and aggravated trespass.

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“Specialist officers have now un-glued them and so they have been taken into custody to a central London police station,” the pressure stated in an announcement.

A bunch of protesters from the identical group later gathered at police headquarters and sprayed yellow paint over the rotating “New Scotland Yard” register entrance of it. Several additionally glued themselves to the street, blocking visitors. Police stated 24 individuals had been arrested.

Just Stop Oil has drawn consideration, and criticism, for focusing on artworks in museums. In July, Just Stop Oil activists glued themselves to the body of an early copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, and to John Constable’s “The Hay Wain” within the National Gallery.

Activists have additionally blocked bridges and intersections throughout London throughout two weeks of protests.

The protesters had been a part of a “new radical flank” of the environmental motion that University of Maryland social scientist Dana Fisher calls “the disruptors.”

“These techniques are particularly geared towards getting media consideration,” stated Fisher, who research activists. She stated they appeared to have focused a portray that had a glass cowl to trigger minimal injury however get extra consideration than earlier activists who had been gluing themselves to artwork. Throwing tomato soup “is an escalation of a tactic,” she stated.

University of Pennsylvania local weather scientist Michael Mann stated he worries that the vandalism “alienates many individuals we have to deliver into the fold. People who’re pure allies within the local weather battle however will draw unfavorable associations with local weather advocacy and activism from such acts.”

The wave of demonstrations comes because the British authorities opens a brand new licensing spherical for North Sea oil and fuel exploration, regardless of criticism from environmentalists and scientists who say the transfer undermines the nation’s dedication to preventing local weather change.

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