Climate protesters across Europe have for months been gluing themselves to the frames of famous paintings in a series of attention-grabbing stunts.
In Britain, activists have attached themselves to about half-a-dozen masterpieces including John Constable’s “The Hay Wain.” In Germany, protesters have stuck themselves to works including Rubens’s “Massacre of the Innocents,” which hangs in the Alte Pinakothek, in Munich. In Italy, works in the Uffizi, in Florence, and at the Vatican Museums have been targeted.
Now, protesters in London have found a new way to focus attention on their cause: throwing cans of tomato soup at a masterpiece.
At just after 11 a.m. on Friday, two members of Just Stop Oil, a group that seeks to stop oil and gas extraction in Britain, entered room 43 of the National Gallery in London, opened two tins of Heinz cream of tomato soup, and threw them at Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers,” one of the treasures of the museum’s collection. It is one of six surviving images of sunflowers that van Gogh made in 1888 and 1889.