6 Nov, 2023 @ 15:55
1 min read

WATCH: Just Stop Oil activists attack €83m painting created by one of Spain’s most famous artists

Just Stop Oil on X

TWO Just Stop Oil protestors have been arrested after smashing the glass protecting a Velazquez painting. 

The incident occurred today, Monday, November 6, at London’s National Portrait Gallery. 

The climate activists hit the glass protecting Rokeby Venus by Diego Velazquez with safety hammers. 

The Met Police have confirmed two men have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. 

According to Just Stop Oil, the pair are Hanan, 22 and Harrison, 20. 

While the pair targeted the painting, 40 other protestors were arrested for slow marching at Whitehall in central london. 

Velazquez is widely recognised as the most important Spanish painter of the 17th century, producing famous works like ‘Las Meninas’ and many royal portraits. 

The Sevilla painter’s artwork was previously vandalised by suffragettes in 1914 when Mary Richardson slashed the canvas. 

In a statement, the climate activist group said: “Women did not get the vote by voting, it is time for deeds not words. It is time to Just Stop Oil.”

“Politics is failing us. It failed women in 1914 and it is failing us now. New oil and gas will kill millions. If we love art, if we love life, if we love our families we must Just Stop Oil.”

The 17th century painting, which has also been exhibited in Madrid’s Prado museum, has been retired from public view so that the gallery’s conservationists can inspect the work. 

It comes after a spate of protests from Just Stop Oil, including a march on Earl’s Court Road last Wednesday, November 1, when police charged over 30 people.

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Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email yzabelle@theolivepress.es

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