Activists from Just Stop Oil have thrown tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers painting at the National Gallery.
A video on Twitter, posted by Guardian environment correspondent Damien Gayle, appears to show the activists throwing tin of soup over the painting before attempting to glue themselves to the gallery’s wall.
Activists with @JustStop_Oil have thrown tomato soup on Van Gogh’s Sunflowers at the national Gallery and glued themselves to the wall. pic.twitter.com/M8YP1LPTOU
— Damien Gayle (@damiengayle) October 14, 2022
The protest took place shortly after 11am in Room 43 of the Gallery.
The National Gallery said there has been minor damage to the frame of the painting, but that the painting itself – which is glazed – was “unharmed”.
One of the activists in the video can be heard saying: “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?”
The activist continued: “The cost of living crisis is part of the cost of oil crisis” before saying that some families “can’t even afford to heat a tin of soup”.
The Gallery said that the room was cleared of visitors following the protest, and that police were called. Two people have been arrested.
Similar Just Stop Oil protests have recently taken place at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, the Royal Academy, and Manchester Art Gallery.