Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Activists plead not guilty at hearing

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Tomato soup based on van Gogh

Activists plead not guilty at hearing

After tomato soup was thrown at a painting by Vincent van Gogh in London’s National Gallery, the two responsible climate activists have rejected the allegation of property damage.

ARCHIVE – Photo released by Just Stop Oil shows two protesters throwing canned soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s famous 1888 work ‘Sunflowers’ at the National Gallery in London. Photo: Just Stop Oil/PA Media/dpa – ATTENTION: For editorial use only in connection with the current reporting and only with full naming of the above credits

The Just Stop Oil activists pleaded not guilty at a hearing at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, the court said on request. They are charged with property damage. The trial is scheduled for mid-July 2024 due to an enormous backlog in the British judiciary.

The activists, who were 20 and 21 at the time of the campaign, threw canned tomato soup at van Gogh’s famous sunflower painting from 1888 in October. Then they knelt in front of the artwork and taped their hands to the wall. According to the National Gallery, the work itself was undamaged, only the frame was slightly damaged. The painting, which has an estimated value of around CHF 83 million, was protected by a pane of glass.

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