A pair of climate activists attempted to desecrate Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh’s painting at the National Gallery in London, in protest of the United Kingdom’s continued reliance on gas and oil.
Two young protestors splashed Van Gogh’s 134-year-old painting “Sunflowers” with a cans of tomato soup, then kneeled in front of the oil canvas and glued their hands to the display wall.
The pink-haired protestor launched into their harebrained reason for attempting to destroy famous artwork that dates back to 1888.
“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?” She implored stunned gallery goers.
“The cost of living crisis is part of the cost of oil crisis. Fuel is unaffordable to millions of cold, hungry families,” the protestor continued. “They can’t even afford to heat a tin of soup.”
The demonstration was briefly interrupted when security guards began to clear out the room, but the artificially pink protestor pressed on.
“Meanwhile, crops are failing, millions of people are dying in monsoons, wild fires and severe droughts,” she concluded. “We cannot afford new oil and gas. It is going to take everything we know and love.”
Climate organization Just Stop Oil claimed the stunt was organized to demand that the United Kingdom “halts all new oil and gas projects.”
London’s Metropolitan police reportedly un-glued the protestors and arrested them for criminal damage and aggravated trespass. The $84.2 million portrait was not damaged by the two cans of Heinz Tomato soup, as it is covered with a layer of protected glass, but there was some minor damage to the frame.
The same day, Just Stop Oil activist Lora Johnson went viral for spray painting the New Scotland Yard sign orange at the Met Police headquarters, to protest the arrest of several members of the organization.
“I’m doing this because we live in a country where you’re innocent until proven guilty and yet we are holding innocent protested people in prison,” she shouted. “All they’re doing is standing up to the corrupt government and corporations.”
Big Oil heiress Aileen Getty, granddaughter of the Getty Oil founder, is reportedly funding Just Stop Oil through the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), the Los Angeles-based organization she began financially supporting when it was founded in 2019.
Just Stop Oil and other similar radical environmental activism organizations received $650,000 from CEF in the early months of 2022. The group is responsible for ongoing protests that have plagued drivers by physically blocking off major roads around the United Kingdom with their bodies.