OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
5:41 PM – Monday, November 6, 2023
Two climate activists were reportedly apprehended by U.K. police on Monday for shattering the protective glass that covered a famous oil painting at the National Gallery in London, England.
The activists used small hammers to target artist Diego Velázquez’s masterpiece, “The Toilet of Venus,” also known as “The Rokeby Venus.”
Images revealed the protective glass panel riddled with multiple holes.
The two climate activists were associated with “Just Stop Oil,” a group known for their protests aimed at iconic artworks and public structures.
The activists declared that their actions on Monday were a call for the British government to immediately cease all licensing associated with the exploration, development, and production of fossil fuels within the United Kingdom.
As it turns out, Velázquez’s painting had previously been damaged in an act of protest in 1914. This is reportedly the reason that the climate activists specifically targeted it. The previous slashing was part of the suffragette movement advocating for women’s rights more than a century ago.
It suffered several cuts at the time but was subsequently repaired.
Referencing the previous protest, the activists reportedly hammered the glass panel, then told visitors at the gallery: “Women did not get the vote by voting. It is time for deeds, not words.”
“Politics is failing us. It failed women in 1914 and it is failing us now,” they added.
Police announced that the two were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and the National Gallery stated that the painting has now been removed from display so that conservators can examine any damages.
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