LONDON – Two climate change protesters have been arrested after sticking to the frame of a famous painting by John Constable that hangs in Britain’s National Gallery, the central London museum and police have said.
The two, from the protest group ‘Just Stop Oil’, broke through a rope barrier on Monday and covered ‘The Hay Wain’ with large sheets of paper depicting ‘an apocalyptic vision of the future’ of the landscape. They then each placed a hand on the frame of the oil painting and protested as security personnel led out tourists and a group of school children.
“The painting has been removed from the wall for examination by our conservation team,” the National Gallery said afterwards. – which have now been successfully treated.
The National Gallery said the painting was rehung on Tuesday.
Just Stop Oil, which wants the government to stop licensing new oil and gas projects, said their version of Constable’s 1821 painting of a rural landscape shows “how oil is going to destroy our country”. Their photo shows pollution on the horizon and an old car dumped in front of the mill in the painting.
The Metropolitan Police said officers were called to demonstrate inside the National Gallery on Monday afternoon. He said two people had been arrested.
The protest came after ‘Just Stop Oil’ activists targeted other art galleries in the UK last week and disrupted Sunday’s British Grand Prix race by sitting on the track during a Formula 1 race stop.
Police say six people have been charged with conspiracy to cause public nuisance during the race.
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