(The Hill) – Climate protesters threw soup on Vincent van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers” painting in London’s National Gallery and glued themselves to the wall on Friday in protest of fossil fuel extraction.
The painting, which is covered in glass, did not appear to suffer any damage, according to the Associated Press. Police officers have since un-glued the two protesters and arrested them for criminal damage and aggravated trespassing, London’s Metropolitan Police said in a press release.
The two protesters were with Just Stop Oil, an organization demanding that the government in the United Kingdom end all new oil and gas extraction.
“What is worth more — art or life?” one of the protesters said while glued to the wall on Friday. “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 cost-of-living crisis is part of the cost of oil crisis,” the protester added. “Fuel is unaffordable to millions of cold, hungry families. They can’t even afford to heat a tin of soup. Meanwhile, crops are failing. Millions of people are dying in monsoons, wildfires and severe droughts. We cannot afford new oil and gas. It’s going to take everything we know and love.”
The group has previously targeted artwork and museums in its protests, gluing themselves to the frame of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” at the Royal Academy of Arts and John Constable’s “The Hay Wain” at the National Gallery earlier this year, according to the AP.