Climate Activists Soak van Gogh’s Sunflowers in Tomato Soup

Janice K. Johnson

Phoebe Plummer and Anna Holland, two young protesters affiliated with local weather-improve motion group Just End Oil, raised the consciousness of numerous and the blood force of some earlier nowadays when they sloshed tomato soup across the entrance of Vincent van Gogh’s iconic Sunflowers at London’s Nationwide Gallery. Immediately thereafter, the pair, clad in shirts bearing the name of their corporation, glued themselves to the wall right away beneath the painting and dealt with the surprised gallerygoers bordering them.

“What is value more, art or life?”  cried Plummer. “Is it really worth extra than food stuff? More than justice? Are you far more concerned about the security of a portray or the security of our planet and people? The price tag of living disaster is portion of the cost of oil disaster, gas is unaffordable to hundreds of thousands of cold, hungry families. They can not even afford to pay for to warmth a tin of soup.”

Officers rushed to clear the gallery and the duo were being summarily unglued and arrested. The function, a single of 6 remaining pictures of sunflowers that van Gogh painted in 1888 and 1889, was found to have been unharmed, help you save for slight injury to the body, as the canvas was lined with glass. The protesters acknowledged that they had been aware of this when they chose their goal, not wishing to harm the portray but to attract focus to the consequences of weather change.

The motion sparked robust and divided emotions, with quite a few complaining that the activists experienced misguidedly focused a beloved do the job that had nothing at all to do with local weather variations, and nonetheless other folks noting that the effort and hard work experienced neatly reached its intended impact. Just Halt Oil stood driving the protesters and their action, and promised a lot more such efforts to achieve their intention of ensuring the British govt halts new fossil gasoline licensing and output.

“We are not trying to make good friends here,” spokesperson Alex De Koning told The Guardian shortly after the incident. “We are striving to make change, and sad to say this is the way that improve takes place.”

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