Just Stop Oil protesters throw soup over Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers painting in National Gallery

Two protesters threw two tins of Heinz tomato soup before security was called in and visitors escorted out of the room

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Two protesters from Just Stop Oil have thrown tinned soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s famous 1888 work Sunflowers at the National Gallery in London.

The pair threw two tins of Heinz tomato soup before security was called in and visitors escorted out of the room.

The two protesters walked into the room and at 11 am threw the tins of soup over the painting.

Speaking after throwing the soup, Phoebe Plummer, 21, said: “Is art worth more than life? More than food? More than justice?

Two protesters from Just Stop Oil have thrown tinned soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s famous 1888 work Sunflowers
Two protesters from Just Stop Oil have thrown tinned soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s famous 1888 work Sunflowers
The pair threw two tins of Heinz tomato soup before security was called in
The pair threw two tins of Heinz tomato soup before security was called in

“The cost of living crisis is driven by fossil fuels—everyday life has become unaffordable for millions of cold hungry families—they can’t even afford to heat a tin of soup.

“Meanwhile, crops are failing and people are dying in supercharged monsoons, massive wildfires and endless droughts caused by climate breakdown.

"We can’t afford new oil and gas, it’s going to take everything.

“We will look back and mourn all we have lost unless we act immediately.”

While Anna Holland, 20, added: “UK families will be forced to choose between heating or eating this winter, as fossil fuel companies reap record profits. But the cost of oil and gas isn’t limited to our bills.

“ Somalia is now facing an apocalyptic famine, caused by drought and fuelled by the climate crisis.

“Millions are being forced to move and tens of thousands face starvation. This is the future we choose for ourselves if we push for new oil and gas.”

Police have subsequently arrested two people for criminal damage following the incident.

In a tweet from the Metropolitan Police Events account, the force said: “Officers were rapidly on scene at the National Gallery this morning after two Just Stop Oil protesters threw a substance over a painting and then glued themselves to a wall. Both have been arrested for criminal damage & aggravated trespass. Officers are now de-bonding them.”