This morning, activists from an organization called Just Stop Oil splashed tomato soup from cans all over Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" painting at London's National Gallery. Fortunately, the painting is under glass. Then they glued their hands to the wall below the artwork. The two were arrested for criminal damage and aggravated trespass. From The Guardian:
"What is worth more, art or life?" said one of the activists, Phoebe Plummer, 21, from London. She was accompanied by 20-year-old Anna Holland, from Newcastle. "Is it worth more than food? More than justice? Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting or the protection of our planet and people?" […]
National Gallery staff quickly cleared the room. The gallery has since confirmed the painting was not harmed, saying in a statement that after the protesters threw "what appears to be tomato soup" over the painting, "the room was cleared of visitors and police were called. Officers are now on the scene. There is some minor damage to the frame but the painting is unharmed." […]
Alienating people from their cause was a concern, said Alex De Koning, a Just Stop Oil spokesperson, who spoke to the Guardian outside the gallery after the room was cleared. "But this is not The X Factor," he added. "We are not trying to make friends here, we are trying to make change, and unfortunately this is the way that change happens."