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HomeNewsVan Gogh's painting vandalised in London museum, ‘what’s worth more art or…'

Van Gogh’s painting vandalised in London museum, ‘what’s worth more art or…’


Soup was thrown over Vincent van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers painting at the National Gallery in London. The picture is one of the most famous paintings and celebrates the beauty of ordinary everyday objects – a flower, a chair, a shoe. In 1987, one of the series was sold for $39m.

On Friday afternoon two young supporters wearing Just Stop Oil t-shirts, threw the liquid over the painting, which is protected by glass. It is a climate protest group,

They later posted the video on their Twitter timeline claiming, “Human creativity and brilliance is on show in this gallery, yet our heritage is being destroyed by our Government’s failure to act on the climate and cost of living crisis.”

In the video two young girls are seen removing their jackets to reveal their t-shirts with Just Stop Oil, throwing soup at the painting and then putting their fingerprints on the gallery wall.

“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?

“What use is art when we face the collapse of civil society? The art establishment, artists and the art-loving public need to step up into Civil Resistance if they want to live in a world where humans are around to appreciate art,” the group’s handle posted on Twitter.

The Guardian quoted the Gallery representatives confirming the painting has not been harmed. National Gallery staff quickly cleared the room and issued a statement, “the room was cleared of visitors and police were called. There is some minor damage to the frame but the painting is unharmed.”

A little later another activist from the same group threw paint on the London Met police headquarter signboard. The protester was seeking release of her fellow activists.  There are currently 5 Just Stop Oil supporters in prison on remand or serving sentences for taking action to demand that the Government halts new oil and gas licences. 

The group claims, “new oil and gas will lead to crop failure, food shortages and the collapse of law and order. Human civilisation as we know it is on the verge of collapse.”



For the past two weeks, the group has been staging sit-down protests on roads around central London, infuriating drivers and commuters, but Friday’s action appeared to be an escalation of its tactics.

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