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British climate activists have glued their hands to the frames of three valuable works of art — including one from Vincent van Gogh — in three separate incidents this week to protest the United Kingdom’s environmental policies.
The demonstrations happened at galleries in Glasgow, London and Manchester on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and targeted works by Horatio McCulloch, van Gogh and JMW Turner, advocates say.
The stunts, which were endorsed and organized by the group Just Stop Oil, came as protestors admonished world leaders for not taking meaningful action against climate change at this week’s G7 summit in Germany.
On Wednesday members of the group attached themselves to McCulloch’s “My Heart’s In The Highlands” in Scotland’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, according to STV News.
The protesters also sprayed the climate group’s logo on the walls and floor of the gallery in orange paint. Three women and two men were arrested, according to the report.
The next day, a man and a woman glued themselves to van Gogh’s 1889 painting “Peach Trees in Blossom,” and were confronted by police, according to footage shared by Just Stop Oil.
“Directors of art institutions should be calling on the government to stop all new oil and gas projects immediately,” said Louis McKechnie, 21, in a statement on the group’s website. “We are either in resistance or we are complicit.”
“Billionaires are getting richer whilst nurses queue at food banks, tens of millions of people across the world are starving and half the world’s population is exposed to extreme danger from heatwaves, floods, fires and famine,” said Emily Brocklebank, 24.
“Meanwhile the art establishment, the politicians and the fossil fuel companies look the other way.”
And on Friday, two other advocates attached themselves to the frame of Turner’s “Tomson’s Aeolian Harp” at the Manchester Art Gallery, the group said.
The art protest campaigns followed a series of disruptions at soccer matches to bring attention to the group’s cause and mass blockades to disrupt the transport of oil in England, according to The Guardian.