Activists throw tomato soup at Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ in London museum; watch videos

Activists from the British organization Just Stop Oil threw tomato soup at sunflowers (1888) from Vincent Van Gogh at the National Gallery in London and stick to the wall, the AFP agency reported on Friday, 14th. The painting – protected by a layer of glass – has an estimated value of 84.2 million pounds. ). The pair were arrested, according to LBC News, under “criminal harm”.

“Which is more important, art or life? (The art) Worth more than food? More than justice? Are you more concerned about protecting a painting or protecting our planet and people?” asked 21-year-old Phoebe Plummer, according to an account. daily maill.

Scotland Yard announced that its “officers quickly rushed to the location at the National Gallery this morning after two Just Stop Oil protesters threw a substance on a painting and then glued it to a wall.”

“Both people were arrested for criminal damages and aggravated trespassing,” police said on Twitter.

sunflowers is the second most famous work by Van Gogh attacked by Just Stop Oil. In late June, activists hit the 1889 painting Peach Trees in Bloom at the Courtauld Gallery in London.

With this action, Just Stop Oil sought to demand that the British Executive suspend all new hydrocarbon exploration projects in the country, the environmental organization said in a statement shortly afterwards.

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After throwing the thick substance, the activist duo knelt in front of the work and glued themselves to the wall of the art gallery.

Museum security arrived shortly afterwards and escorted visitors out of Room 43, where the work is on display.

Increasingly questioned for her political, economic and environmental decisions, the new British Conservative Prime Minister, Liz Trussnamed on September 6 as successor to the controversial Boris Johnson, announced two days later the lifting of a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the UK.

Sunflowers, painted by Van Gogh in 1888. Photo National Gallery
Sunflowers, painted by Van Gogh in 1888. Photo National Gallery

In addition to allowing this controversial method of extracting fossil fuels, until then prohibited in the country, Truss also announced the increase in licenses for the extraction of oil and gas in the North Sea among his measures to combat the energy crisis, despite criticism from environmentalists. and scientists who say the move undermines the country’s commitment to fighting climate change.

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The group has drawn attention and criticism for focusing on artwork in museums for their protests. In July, Just Stop Oil activists glued themselves to the frame of The last supperin Leonardo da Vinciat the Royal Academy of Arts in London and at The Hay Wain, by John Constable, at the National Gallery. Activists also blocked bridges and crossings in London during two weeks of protests.

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