Climate protesters beat Van Gogh’s sunflowers with soup. Do they were right?

an Friday morning, Vincent Van GoghMasterpiece sunflower She received a square hit from the contents of two cans of tomato soup at the National Gallery in London.

It was the latest protest from Just Stop Oil, a climate activist coalition, in two weeks of civil resistance across London. disturbances, Which also saw the New Scotland Yard spray-paint collectionIt is a response to the UK government’s failure to tackle the cost of living and climate crisis, the group said.

They have called for a moratorium on new oil and gas licenses that were recently floated for seizure by the UK government – even as climate scientists warn that such licenses will contribute to more emissions that warm global temperatures.

At about 11 a.m., two young women in “Just Stop Oil” shirts walked into the exhibition room and sprayed cans of Heinz soup, one of Andy Warhol’s favorite subjects.

“What’s more worth, art or life? Is it worth more than food? More than justice? Are you more concerned about protecting a painting, or protecting our planet and people?” shouted activist Phoebe Plummer, 21, sticking their hands to the wall.

She added: “The cost of living crisis is part of the cost of the oil crisis. Fuel is unaffordable for millions of cold and hungry families. They can’t even heat a can of soup.”

The protesters were later arrested for criminal damage and aggravated trespassing.

The oil painting, valued at $81m (£72.5m), is protected by a glass cover and has not been damaged, A spokesman for the National Gallery independent. Just Stop Oil also said they were aware that the artwork, which was completed in 1888, was protected by glass.

About six hours after the soup was dumped, the painting was cleaned up and returned to the gallery wall, BBC reported.

For the past 100 years, nonviolent direct actions, some of which include prestigious artworks, have been used in protests to advance societal change.

We have recently seen an increase in nonviolent direct action, including roadblocks and some limited attacks on property. There is a long history of this type of protest, including attacks on paintings in the National Gallery in London,” Amy Woodson Bolton, a professor of history at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, who specializes in the history of Britain, Ireland and the British Empire, said. independent, in a letter.

“Women in the UK claiming the right to vote, for example, attacked paintings in Manchester and flattened one, Mary Richardson, painting by Diego Velazquez venus toilet In 1914 – in both cases to protest the imprisonment of the leader of the Women’s Social and Political Union, Emmeline Pankhurst.

For Professor Woodson Bolton, targeting precious art raises questions about how society addresses the existential threat of the climate crisis.

The question such attacks pose to us is, what is the value of this thing? How can we understand our anger at the temporary distortion of the things we hold beyond price in relation to mass extinctions and suffering from climate change?

This means that such actions may be controversial, as it was at the time. But they are important acts of civil resistance that force the public to reflect on why allowing wealthier governments, often controlled by corporate interests, to ignore the science we need to end our dependence on fossil fuels, we need to protect the most vulnerable. And we need to address the fact that those least responsible for climate change are already feeling its worst effects.”

“To this extent, these protesters are operating in an important tradition of peaceful protest (protest that does not harm others) and are asking the most important questions facing humanity,” she added.

Picture of red orange liquid dripping onto one of the world’s most famous images. And the painting that Van Gogh himself was proud of – provoke visceral reflexes;

For some, the protest was emblematic of the growing divide between young people, who face an uncertain future on a hectic planet, and the apathy of the political and financial elites who are in charge of making large-scale shifts across sectors to cut emissions.

“Probably the only direct thing about Van Gogh was what he thought the drawing was for (‘to teach us to see’). So I think that fits perfectly,” comedian and writer Frankie Boyle tweeted.

“If you are more upset with the left side than the right side, you may want to rethink your priorities a bit. Just an idea,” he wrote. Julia K Steinberger, A Professor of Social Ecology and Environmental Economics at the University of Lausanne shared a split screen of soup-throwing activists and a piece from the latest UN Climate Assessment that stated: “Any further delay in concerted global proactive action on adaptation and mitigation will be missed by the brief and soon the window of opportunity closes.” .

Van Gogh’s attack sparked inevitable right-wing anger that has been simmering with various activists’ attempts to draw attention to last year’s climate crisis.

But there was also concern Friday among some climate scientists and activists that targeting a beloved artwork threatens to undermine the message.

“Regardless of the motive, destroying or destroying shared cultural treasures in the name of saving the planet is a mistake.” Dr. Jonathan Foley tweeteda climate and environmental scientist who leads the climate solutions group, Project Drawdown.

“As a researcher working on climate change, this shock makes me very upset, because it is likely to antagonize public support for climate action. Destroying art to save life is meaningless. The problem is fossil fuels, and art is part of the solution,” Francois Jimin’s booksan expert on climate change and migration, and lead author on the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The attack was seen by some as a cumbersome attempt at a shock tactic, after numerous protests centered around artworks in the past year. Others felt he had missed the point altogether.

“If you’re going to conduct a climate protest in a museum, I feel it should be about returning stolen art/artifacts to colonial countries and pointing out the links between climate change and colonialism, not…that…” Marie Anais Heglar, a writer and podcaster whose work focuses on climate justice, tweeted.

In July, Just Stop Oil protesters plastered themselves on copies of Leonardo da Vinci Last Supper At the Royal Academy, John Constable hi win At the National Gallery. In May, a protester threw a cake at Mona Lisa In the Louvre Museum, Paris.

Alex de Kooning, a spokesperson for Just Stop Oil, told that Watchman On Friday, the group was concerned about turning people away from their cause – but such actions were necessary to bring about change.

But this is not so the tenth factor,He told the newspaper. “We’re not trying to make friends here, we’re trying to bring about change, and unfortunately that’s how change happens.”

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