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Winthrop High School's Premier News Site Since 2019

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Activists smash glass protecting Velazquez’s Venus painting in London’s National Gallery

Photo from artnet news

Two climate activists from the group Just Stop Oil were arrested after they smashed the protective glass panel covering the famous painting Venus by Diego Velazquez.

Just Stop Oil had previosly led similar protests targeting famous artworks and public buildings. The group said that they chose to target Velazquez’s painting because it was previosly s

Just Stop Oil: Venus at Her Mirror, from Diego Velaquez, in the National Gallery
Picture from El Pais Two climate change protesters smashed a protective glass panel covering a famous Diego Velázquez oil painting at London’s National Gallery, November 6, 2023.

lashed as part of the suffragette movement calling for women’s rights in 1914.

The two protesters are demanding that the British government immediately halt all new oil and gas projects following its September approval of a contriversial oil project in the North Sea. Police arrested the two activists on suspicion of criminal damage. The Natinal Gallery said that the painting has been removed and is being examined by conservators.

In the meantime, protesters from Just Stop Oil marched down Whitehall, which is Trafalagr Square’s south street leading to Parliment Square. Metropolitan police later announced that they arrested 40 protesters who were slowly marching. They were made as the protesters blocked traffic near 10 Downing Street, the official residence of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

But in a third action, another wave of protesters showed up and began marching down Whitehall. The arrest total from the day is thought to be 100, according to a statement form the police.

“Many others have been bailed out of London and have been put under house arrest on ankle tag,” Just Stop Oil said.  “We are not prepared to watch silently while this government, bought by the criminals in the oil industry, are planning for millions to die, whilst the judiciary imprisons those that stand against this injustice.”

Beginning at noon on November 20 at Trafalagr Square, London, they intend to hold a protest every day until their demands are met.

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