On Monday, two activists of the Just Stop Oil group broke the glass protecting a painting by Diego Velazquez as part of a protest. This was another attack by the group aimed at works of art – in October 2022, two other activists poured tomato soup on one of the versions of Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”, which is also in the National Gallery.
Two activists of the Just Stop Oil group, which – as it claims itself – is fighting against climate changeattacked Diego Velazquez’s painting “Venus with a Mirror” in the National Gallery in London with hammers on Monday, breaking the glass protecting the canvas.
In a statement made a moment later, they compared their act of vandalism to another attack on a painting by a Spanish painter – in 1914, suffragist Mary Richardson attacked the painting with a meat cleaver in protest against the arrest of Emmeline Pankhurst.
– Politics is failing us. It failed women in 1914 and it fails us now. New oil and gas will kill millions. If we love art, if we love life, if we love our families, we simply have to stop the oil, they argued. Activists aged 22 and 20 were arrested on charges of destroying property.
Activists attack works of art
This was another attack by the Just Stop Oil group against works of art – in October 2022, two other activists poured tomato soup on one of the versions of Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”, which is also in the National Gallery. On several occasions, group members also stuck themselves to picture frames in museums.
Meanwhile, about 100 Just Stop Oil activists were arrested on Monday in London on Whitehall Avenue, where they were walking slowly, blocking traffic.
Some of them were detained near The Cenotaph, a monument commemorating British soldiers who died in both world wars and subsequent conflicts. However, the group denied that its members intended to attack the monument.
This monument has been the subject of concern among politicians for several days in connection with the large pro-Palestinian demonstration planned in London on Saturday, the date of which coincides with Remembrance Day in honor of fallen soldiers. Politicians express concern that it may be desecrated during the demonstrations.
The Just Stop Oil group is currently conducting another four-week campaign of intensified actions, mainly involving blocking traffic, but on Monday its protests coincided with the British government’s announcement of its intention to regularly grant new licenses for oil and gas production in the North Sea every year.
Main photo source: Reuters