Just Stop Oil protesters glue themselves to National Gallery painting and cover it with 'reimagined' version

The reimagined version 'carries a nightmare scene that demonstrates how oil will destroy our countryside'

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Two Just Stop Oil protesters have glued themselves to a painting at London gallery as they continue to call for the Government to end new oil and gas licenses.

The pair covered the original painting, John Constable’s the Hay Wain, with a reimagined version at the capital’s National Gallery.

The reimagined version “carries a nightmare scene that demonstrates how oil will destroy our countryside”, Just Stop Oil said in a statement.

They added: “The river has gone, to be replaced by a road, airplanes fill the sky, pollution belches from cities on the horizon, trees are scorched by wildfires, an old car is dumped in front of the Mill and the famous Hay Wain cart carries an old washing machine.”

Just Stop Oil protesters have glued themselves to a painting in London
Just Stop Oil protesters have glued themselves to a painting in London
Just Stop Oil protesters
Just Stop Oil protesters

Activist Hannah Hunt, a psychology student from Brighton said: “I’m here because our Government plans to licence 40 new UK oil and gas projects in the next few years.

“This makes them complicit in pushing the world towards an unlivable climate and in the death of billions of people in the coming decades.

“You can forget our ‘green and pleasant land’ when further oil extraction will lead to widespread crop failures which means we will be fighting for food.

Ultimately, new fossil fuels are a death project by our government. So yes there is glue on the frame of this painting but there is blood on the hands of our government.

“The disruption will end when the UK government makes a meaningful statement that it will end new oil and gas licenses.”

While 22-year-old Eben Lazarus, a music student also from Brighton: “I support Just Stop Oil, demanding an end to all new oil and gas in the UK immediately. I want to work in the arts, not disrupt them, but the situation we’re in, means we must do everything non-violently possible to prevent the total collapse of our ordered society.

“I have a number of younger siblings, the youngest are just ten and twelve, and I refuse to stand and watch them being condemned to a future of suffering, while they have no voice. Our government is failing in its fundamental duty to protect us.

“We have covered the Hay Wain with a reimagined version that illustrates the impact of our addiction to fossil fuels on our countryside. The painting is an important part of our heritage, but it is not more important than the 3.5 billion men, women and children already in danger because of the climate crisis.