Oil protesters plead not guilty to sabotaging Van Gogh painting

No damage to the 1880s painting, estimated at $80.99 million, was reported.

  • The protesters who threw soup on the chalkboard (The Guardian)

Media reported that the climate activists, famous for throwing soup on Vincent Van Gogh’s famous ‘Sunflowers’ painting at the National Gallery in London, appeared in a London court on Saturday seeking criminal damages .

Protesting as part of the Just Stop Oil campaign group, the two women pleaded not guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court during hearings on Friday after spilling two cans of tomato soup on the oil painting.

According to the London Metropolitan Police, the protesters had to be evacuated by specialists after sticking to the wall of the gallery.

No damage to the 1880s painting, estimated at $80.99 million, has been reported, according to a museum spokesperson.

The spokesperson said CNBC: “There is some minor damage to the frame but the painting is intact”, as the painting is protected by glass, so it was cleaned and returned to the Gallery later Friday.

The campaign protest in London has been going on for two weeks and her group issued a press statement saying the action was “in response to the Government’s inaction in the face of both the cost of living crisis and the climate crisis”.

One activist said in a video: “Which is worth more, art or life? Is it worth more than the food? Worth more than justice? Are you more concerned about protecting a painting or protecting our planet and people?

The campaign by environmental groups and opposition Labor Party politicians has been widely criticized following their recent protests for their protest techniques, which have been described as “disruptive”.

Campaign protesters tried to storm through the gates of Downing Street on Tuesday as part of a widely publicized campaign to stop new oil and gas exploration in Britain. The Prime Minister’s official residence is located on a street where Just Stop Oil activists tried to enter, but failed.

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