Van Gogh masterpiece attacked with soup (VIDEO)
London Metropolitan Police on Friday arrested two eco-activists after they threw tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s iconic ‘Sunflowers’ painting in London's National Gallery. A video showing two young women emptying Heinz soup cans on the glass-covered 1888 masterpiece has gone viral on social media.
“Officers were rapidly on scene at the National Gallery this morning after two Just Stop Oil protesters threw a substance over a painting and then glued themselves to a wall. Both have been arrested for criminal damage and aggravated trespass,” Scotland Yard wrote on Twitter.
The National Gallery later revealed that the frame of ‘Sunflowers’ had been slightly damaged, but the artwork itself was unharmed.
Just Stop Oil, which is trying to make British authorities halt all new fossil-fuel projects, has been blocking bridges and busy intersections across London over the past two weeks.
Despite seeing dozens of its members arrested, the youth group issued a direct warning to law enforcement on October 11.
“Dear Metropolitan Police, we are going to continue escalating our actions until our demand of no new oil and gas is met,” the movement stated.
Dear Metropolitan Police,We are going to continue escalating our actions until our demand of no new oil and gas is met.Yours truly,Just Stop Oil pic.twitter.com/6gQ89JTwe8— Just Stop Oil ⚖️💀🛢 (@JustStop_Oil) October 11, 2022
Friday’s attack on Van Gogh’s painting is not the first time Just Stop Oil has targeted artworks. Previously, activists vandalized Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’, John Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’, and Van Gogh’s ‘Peach Trees in Blossom’.
In September, one of the activists, Louis McKechnie, 21, was given a six-week prison sentence after he tied himself to a goalpost during an English Premiership match between Everton and Newcastle United.
Just Stop Oil was founded in February. It lists the Climate Emergency Fund, a US-based charity which has also funded Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain – two movements notorious for their disruptive protests in London and beyond - as a main funding source.