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Latest Stunt by Climate Activists Angers Even Supporters of the Cause

Two climate activists defaced a Vincent Van Gogh painting in the National Gallery in London before gluing themselves to the wall underneath it.

“What is worth more? Art or life? Is it worth more than food? Worth more than justice? Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting or the protection of our planet and people,” one of the Just Stop Oil activists said. “The cost of living crisis is part of the cost of oil crisis. Fuel is unaffordable to millions of cold, hungry families. They can’t even afford to heat a tin of soup.”


Friday's stunt is the latest act of vandalism from Just Stop Oil, whose activists have targeted several other famous paintings in recent months.

"Sunflowers" is the second, more famous, Van Gogh painting to be targeted by the group. Two climate activists glued themselves to his 1889 "Peach Trees in Blossom", exhibited at the Courtauld Gallery, at the end of June.

Painted in Arles in the south of France in August 1888, Van Gogh's painting shows fifteen sunflowers standing in a yellow pot against a yellow background.

The work is also the second from the National Gallery to be selected as a target for protest action by Just Stop Oil. Two supporters glued themselves to John Constable's The Hay Wain on July 4.

The group previously targeted a landscape painting by Horatio McCulloch, "My Heart's In The Highlands", in Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, as well as a 500-year-old copy of Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Summer" in London's Royal Academy. (The Telegraph)


The “Sunflowers” painting, estimated to be worth $84.2 million, was fortunately covered by a protective glass so did not sustain damage from the Heinz soup poured on it, but the Gallery said there is “minor damage to the frame.”

Social media users don't appear to be won over by the group's antics. 


The two women were arrested for criminal damage and aggravated trespass, according to The Telegraph. 

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