Climate Protesters Target Famous Paintings

In London, they glued themselves to an 1821 masterpiece
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2022 7:35 PM CDT
Climate Protesters Are Gluing Themselves to Paintings
Protesters from "Just Stop Oil" climate protest group glue their hands to the frame of a copy of Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper', inside the Royal Academy, London, Tuesday July 5, 2022.   (James Manning/PA via AP)

(Newser) – Climate change protesters in Britain have a new tactic: gluing themselves to famous paintings. On Monday, two protesters from the "Just Stop Oil" group were arrested at the National Gallery in London after they glued themselves to the frame of John Constable's "The Hay Wain," one of the country's most famous paintings, CNN reports. The protesters covered the 1821 oil painting, which depicts three horses pulling a wagon across the River Stour, with what they called an "apocalyptic vision of the future," depicting the same rural scene with a plane and wrecked cars, the Telegraph reports.

Experts at the London gallery said the protesters caused minor damage to the frame and the painting's varnish, which was "successfully dealt with." "I want to work in the arts, not disrupt them," said one of the protesters, 22-year-old music student Eben Lazarus. "But the situation we're in means we have to do everything non-violently possible to prevent the civilizational collapse that we are hurtling towards."

Members of the group, which is demanding an end to licenses for new oil and gas projects, glued themselves to the frames of paintings including Vincent van Gogh's "Peach Trees in Blossom" last week. On Tuesday, they struck again, the AP reports. Five activists were arrested at London's Royal Academy of Arts after they glued themselves to the frame of a full-sized copy of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" and spray-painted "No New Oil" underneath it. On Sunday, six activists were arrested after they disrupted the British Grand Prix race by sitting down on the Silverstone racetrack (Read more climate change stories.)

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