Planet Earth

published : 2023-11-08

Climate Activists Cause Chaos at London Museum, Target Priceless Painting

'Millions will die due to new oil and gas licenses. Millions!' a protester screamed

An image of climate activists holding up banners and peacefully protesting outside the London museum, captured with a Nikon D850.

In an audacious act of defiance, climate activists from the group Just Stop Oil have made headlines once again, this time by taking their message to the hallowed halls of the National Gallery in London.

On Monday, while tourists gazed at priceless works of art, a pair of activists identified as Harrison Donnelly, 20, and Hanan, 22, unleashed chaos by targeting the renowned painting 'Rokeby Venus' by Diego Velázquez.

Armed with 'safety hammers', the activists brazenly attacked the painting, much to the shock and horror of onlookers.

As the glass shattered under the force of their hammers, the protesters raised their voices to deliver a damning message: 'Millions will die due to new oil and gas leases. Millions!'

Their disruptive act was not without historical context. The suffragettes famously slashed the 'Rokeby Venus' over a century ago, using similar tactics to fight for women's voting rights.

With an estimated value of £72.5 million, the painting holds immense cultural and artistic significance.

A close-up shot of the shattered glass from the Rokeby Venus painting, showing the damage caused by the activists' safety hammers. This photo was taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV.

Authorities swiftly intervened and apprehended the activists, later charging them with suspicion of criminal damage.

A spokesperson for the National Gallery expressed their dismay over the incident, stating that the painting has been removed from display for examination by conservators.

This act of vandalism is not an isolated event for Just Stop Oil. Earlier this month, they caused uproar by disrupting a performance of 'Les Misérables' in London's West End.

Protesters infiltrated the show, forcing it to shut down temporarily and drawing both criticism and disdain from the frustrated crowd.

The audacity displayed by Just Stop Oil activists is fueled by their unwavering belief that politics has failed to protect our environment and future generations.

Their spokesperson emphasized the need for action, stating, 'Politics is failing us. Politics failed women in 1914.'

A historical black and white photograph of suffragettes protesting for women's rights, reminiscent of the earlier act of vandalism on the 'Rokeby Venus'. This image was captured on a Leica M10-P.

Embedded in these acts of resistance is a call for ordinary people to rise up and demand change from those in power.

Just Stop Oil invites everyone, regardless of background or affiliation, to join their cause in this fight against environmental degradation.

While the art world recoils from the damage inflicted upon the 'Rokeby Venus', the repercussions of this incident will undoubtedly echo far beyond the National Gallery's walls.

As society grapples with the urgent need to address climate change, Just Stop Oil's provocative tactics serve as a stark reminder of the immense challenges we face.

Whether their methods will ultimately achieve the desired outcomes or simply further polarize public opinion remains to be seen.

What is certain, however, is that the battle between our dependence on fossil fuels and the preservation of our planet has reached a critical juncture.