Just Stop Oil protester attacks Van Gogh stunt


The famous Sunflower painting was targeted at London’s National Gallery (Image: REX)

Two women have been charged with vandalism after a can of soup was thrown at a valuable work of art.

Protesters from Just Stop Oil threw a can of Heinz at Vincent Van Gogh’s famous Sunflower painting at the National Gallery yesterday.

Video of the shocking stunt went viral on social media and two people were arrested at the scene after taping themselves to a wall.

Anna Holland, 20, of Newcastle, and Phoebe Plummer, 21, of Clapham, south London, have both been charged with criminal damage.

They are due to appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court later today.

Footage from the scene showed one of the women chanting a rambling tirade beneath the painting, saying, “What is worth more, art of living?

“Is it worth more than food, worth more than justice?

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“Are you more concerned about protecting a painting or protecting our planet and our people?

“The cost of living crisis is part of the cost of the oil crisis. Fuel is unaffordable for millions of cold hungry families.

“You can’t even afford to heat a can of soup,” they added, waving one of the two cans of soup.

Security guards escorted visitors out of room 43 of the gallery before closing the doors.

Lora Johnson, 38, of Southwold, was arrested and charged with a separate stunt by the same group.

A sign outside New Scotland Yard, the Metropolitan Police headquarters, was covered in orange paint yesterday afternoon, the latest in a series of stunts orchestrated by the group.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Just Stop Oil/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock (13466036c) Just Stop Oil protesters taped themselves to the museum wall and then threw tomato soup at Vincent Van Gogh's famous, iconic 1888-9 artwork Sunflowers at the National Gallery Friday. Screaming,

Protesters taped themselves to a wall after throwing soup over the painting (Image: Shutterstock)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: A Just Stop Oil activist is arrested after soup was thrown at Van Gogh's sunflowers at the National Portrait Gallery on October 14, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Martin Pope/Getty Images)

They were seen being led away by police officers carrying cans of soup in an evidence bag (Picture: Getty)

A spokesman for the National Gallery confirmed to Metro.co.uk that Sunflowers is now “on display again”.

They added: “Just after 11am this morning, two people entered room 43 of the National Gallery.

“The couple seemed glued to the wall next to Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ (1888). They also threw a red substance – what appears to be tomato soup – over the painting.

“Visitors cleared the room and the police were called. Now officials are on site.

“There is some minor damage to the frame, but the painting is undamaged.”

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/10/15/just-stop-oil-protester-charged-over-van-gogh-painting-stunt-17570014/ Just Stop Oil protester attacks Van Gogh stunt

Justin Scacco

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