Video: UK eco-activists throw soup on Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ at National Gallery

The Just Stop Oil campaign group had been holding protests for the last fortnight in London


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Published: Fri 14 Oct 2022, 3:14 PM

Last updated: Fri 14 Oct 2022, 3:31 PM

Environmental protesters on Friday threw tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" painting at the National Gallery in central London, videos posted on social media showed.

London's Metropolitan Police said its officers arrested two protesters from the Just Stop Oil group for criminal damage and aggravated trespass after they "threw a substance over a painting" at the gallery on Trafalgar Square.

Two protesters wearing T-shirts with the slogan "Just Stop Oil" lobbed cans of soup at the iconic painting, a video posted on Twitter by the Guardian newspaper's environment correspondent Damien Gayle and retweeted by the eco-activism group showed.

After gluing themselves to the wall, one of the activists shouts: "What is worth more, art or life?"

"Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting or the protection of our planet and people?" she asks.

In the video, someone can be heard yelling "oh my God" as the soup hits the canvas, and another person shouts "security?" while soup drips from the frame onto the floor.

Just Stop Oil said in a statement that its activists threw two cans of Heinz Tomato soup over the painting at 11am to demand that the UK government halt all new oil and gas projects.

It said the painting has an estimated value of $84.2 million.

It was not immediately clear whether the painting is protected by glass.


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