Climate protesters are sticking to a 200-year-old masterpiece

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Two climate activists glued themselves to a 200-year-old masterpiece at London’s National Gallery on Monday, the latest in a series of destructive protests by British environmental group Just Stop Oil. Related video above: Climate protesters glue themselves to painting frame at Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow A pair covered John Constable’s famous landscape painting Hay Landscape with an altered version of the image before placing their hands on its frame. The demonstration came just a day after five Just Stop Oil activists disrupted the British Formula One Grand Prix by sitting at Silverstone Racecourse. Last week, members of the group were also glued to picture frames in London, Glasgow and Manchester, including Vincent van Gogh’s famous ‘Peach Tree’. Completed in 1821, The Haystack is one of Britain’s most famous works of art. . The depiction of the River Stour, which divides the English counties of Suffolk and Essex, is considered one of Constable’s major paintings. In the modified version, the protestors replaced the river with an asphalt road, with factory smokestacks in the background and planes flying overhead. Just Stop Oil, which is calling on the UK government to block licenses for future oil and gas production, has since identified the protesters as students Hannah Hunt and Eben Lazarus. London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed to CNN that two people were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and later bailed pending further enquiries. In a video of Monday’s incident posted on Twitter by Just Stop Oil, Lazar, 22, a music student, can be heard telling viewers that the “reimagined” version of the painting “shows the destructive nature of our dependence on oil.” “But the situation we find ourselves in means that we must do everything possible, nonviolently, to prevent the civilizational collapse toward which we are racing.” The National Gallery said the painting was removed from view after the incident and has since been examined by conservators. “Hay Vane had minor damage to the frame and also some damage to the varnish surface of the painting – both of which have now been successfully dealt with,” the gallery said in a statement to CNN, adding that the painting will be on display again from Tuesday morning. Founded in early 2022, Just Stop Oil has launched several high-profile protests in recent months. In March, a Premier League football match was stopped when a protester tied himself to one of the goal posts. Last month, four supporters of the group covered the outside wall and steps of the UK government headquarters with red paint. In a press release issued by the group on Monday, Hunt, 23, said the protests would only end when “the UK government makes a significant announcement to stop issuing new oil and gas licences”. “At the end of the day, new fossil fuels are a deadly project for our government,” the psychology student was quoted as saying.

Two climate activists glued themselves to a 200-year-old masterpiece at London’s National Gallery on Monday, the latest in a series of destructive protests by British environmental group Just Stop Oil.

Related video above: Climate protesters tape themselves to the frame of a painting at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery

The pair covered John Constable’s famous landscape painting Hay Break with an altered version of the image before hand-gluing it to the frame.

The demonstration came just a day after five Just Stop Oil activists disrupted the Formula 1 British Grand Prix by sitting on the racecourse at Silverstone. In the past week, members of the group have also stuck to the frames of paintings in London, Glasgow and Manchester, including Vincent Van Gogh’s famous ‘Peach Trees in Bloom’.

Completed in 1821, The Haystack is one of Britain’s most famous works of art. The depiction of the River Stour, which divides the English counties of Suffolk and Essex, is considered one of Constable’s major paintings.

In the modified version of the protestors, the river was replaced by a cobblestone road, and in the background they found factory smokestacks and airplanes flying overhead.

Just Stop Oil, which is calling on the UK government to block licenses for future oil and gas production, has since identified the protesters as students Hannah Hunt and Eben Lazarus. London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed to CNN that two people were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and later released on bail pending further enquiries.

Kirsty O’Connor/Pennsylvania/Reuters

Climate protesters glued themselves to a 200-year-old masterpiece at London’s National Gallery on Monday.

In a video of Monday’s incident posted on Twitter by Just Stop Oil, Lazarus, a 22-year-old music student, can be heard telling viewers that the “reimagined” version of the painting “shows the destructive nature of our dependence on oil. .”

“I want to work in the arts, not hinder them,” he is heard saying. “But the situation we find ourselves in means that we must do everything possible, nonviolently, to prevent the civilizational collapse toward which we are racing.”

The National Gallery said the painting was removed from view after the incident and has since been examined by conservators.

“There was some minor damage to the frame in the hay path, and there was also some damage to the varnish surface of the painting – both of which have now been successfully dealt with,” the gallery said in a statement to CNN, adding that the painting will be on display again from Tuesday morning.

Founded in early 2022, Just Stop Oil has launched several high-profile protests in recent months. In March, a Premier League football match was stopped when a protester tied himself to one of the goal posts.

Last month, four supporters of the group covered the exterior walls and steps of the British government headquarters with red paint.

In a press release issued by the group on Monday, Hunt, 23, said the protests would only end when “the UK government makes a significant announcement to stop issuing new oil and gas licences”.

“At the end of the day, new fossil fuels are the death knell of our government,” the psychology student was quoted as saying.

“So there is glue on the frame of this picture, but there is blood on the hands of our government.”

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