Home LifestyleArt and Culture Two environmentalists throw tomato soup on Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ at London’s National Gallery

Two environmentalists throw tomato soup on Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ at London’s National Gallery

by Yucatan Times
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The canvas, one of five versions of this work by the artist, was not damaged because it was protected by glass. The attack was perpetrated by two young members of the Just Stop Oil organization.

On Friday, October 14th, two environmental activists from the group ‘Just stop oil’ have thrown tomato soup on the painting ‘The Sunflowers’ by Vincent Van Gogh, exhibited at the National Gallery in London, to protest against the exploitation of fossil fuel deposits in the United Kingdom. Afterward, the activists poured glue on their fingers and glued their hands to the wall, according to the London Police.

Their attack could be seen in a video on Twitter in which they boast about the misdeed against one of the five versions of this 1888 masterpiece by the Dutch artist. Then, they knelt down, and, as in similar performances by this group, the activists, who were wearing T-shirts with the logo of their organization, glued their hands to the wall next to the painting. In the images released Friday of the attack at the London National Gallery, a cry of surprise can be heard moments later from one of the visitors to the room. A woman exclaims, “Oh, my God!” and a man says, “Security!”.

Just Stop Oil, a conservationist association, has proclaimed against the British government granting new oil and gas extraction licenses, and the group had already staged several protests in London in the last two weeks. In June, they glued themselves to walls next to some works of art in different museums, including the National Gallery itself, specifically next to John Constable’s painting The Hay Wagon. Just Stop Oil is linked to environmental organizations in more than half a dozen countries (Norway, Australia, Italy, and Germany, among others). In Germany, two activists from a related group also attached themselves to the wall on which Rubens’ The Massacre of the Innocents hangs in the Munich art gallery. The aim of the actions of these groups is to attract media attention and thus reinforce the echo of their cause.

According to the statement from the National Gallery, the incident occurred at about 11 am (12-noon local time). Museum security cleared room 43 of visitors and the police arrived on the scene. The two activists have been arrested for “criminal damage” and “trespassing,” according to a statement by Scotland Yard.

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