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Just Stop Oil activists throw tomato soup on Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and glue themselves to the wall at the National Gallery

  • Two protestors threw Heniz tomato soup on Van Gogh’s Sunflowers at the National Gallery earlier today
  • The 19th-century painting at the gallery in London is estimated to be worth at least £84.2 million
  • Demonstrators glued themselves to the wall in the latest climate protest following a week of disruption
  • Phoebe Plummer, 21, and Anna Holland, 20, are now being un-glued by police following the protest 

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Just Stop Oil activists have thrown Heinz tomato soup over Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece ‘Sunflowers’ at the National Gallery in London.

Climate activists glued themselves to the £84 million painting in the latest demonstration after a string of eco-warrior stunts this week. 

After throwing soup on the painting – which has a glass cover – protestor Phoebe Plummer, 21, yelled: ‘What is worth more, art or life?

‘Is it worth more than food? More than justice? 

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‘Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting, or the protection of our planet and people?

One of the protestors said after the stunt: 'What is worth more, art or life?' before gluing themselves to the wall

One of the protestors said after the stunt: ‘What is worth more, art or life?’ before gluing themselves to the wall 

Climate activists threw tomato soup on the £84 million painting at the National Gallery today

Climate activists threw tomato soup on the £84 million painting at the National Gallery today 

‘The cost of living crisis is part of the cost of oil crisis.’ 

Activist Anna Holland, 20, from Newcastle said: ‘UK families will be forced to choose between heating or eating this winter, as fossil fuel companies reap record profits. 

‘But the cost of oil and gas isn’t limited to our bills. Somalia is now facing an apocalyptic famine, caused by drought and fuelled by the climate crisis. 

‘Millions are being forced to move and tens of thousands face starvation. This is the future we choose for ourselves if we push for new oil and gas.’

The demonstrators were surrounded by a group of photographers and journalists when they attacked the painting, before the press were asked to leave by National Gallery Staff. 

Police were called shortly afterwards to un-glue the climate activists from the wall of the National Gallery.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Officers were rapidly on scene at the National Gallery this morning after two Just Stop Oil protesters threw a substance over a painting and then glued themselves to a wall. 

‘Both have been arrested for criminal damage & aggravated trespass. Officers are now de-bonding them.’

Just Stop Oil has held protests throughout the past few weeks, including blocking roads around Parliament Square as police made dozens or arrests.

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Following the latest stunt at the National Gallery, the group said: ‘This is not a one day event, this is an act of resistance against a criminal government and their genocidal death project. 

‘Our supporters will be returning – today, tomorrow and the next day – and the next day after that – and every day until our demand is met: no new oil and gas in the UK.’ 

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