A painting damaged by protestors yesterday morning at the National Gallery is now being examined by conservators.
A National Gallery spokesperson told Advisor that two people entered Room 30 of the National Gallery, and struck the glass on The Toilet of Venus (‘The Rokeby Venus’) (1647-1651) by Velázquez “with what appeared to be emergency rescue hammers.”
The room was subsequently cleared of visitors and police were called, the gallery said, and the painting has since been removed from display to be examined. A Dead Soldier, Italian (17th century) has temporarily replaced the damaged painting.
The spokesperson said “minimal damage has been sustained to the surface of the painting; therefore, it will be undergoing conservation treatment before going back on display.”
There is no timeline on the painting’s return.
Just Stop Oil said two of its supporters had smashed the glass cover of the painting, demanding that the government immediately halt all new oil and gas projects in the UK.
The Met Police said two activists had been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.
Last year, activists from Just Stop Oil threw tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers painting at the National Gallery.