Climate change activists damage Warhol artwork (video)

CANBERRA, 9 Nov 2022:

Two climate change protesters today vandalised Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s Soup Cans artwork in the National Gallery of Australia and glued their hands on it to demand an end to fossil fuel subsidies by the Australian government.

A police spokesperson of the Australian Capital Territory, which includes Canberra where the gallery is located, said the activists managed to leave the building before they could be detained.

The Stop Fossil Fuel Subsidies activist group, which has taken responsibility for the protest, posted a video on Twitter showing two female protesters smearing paint on the glass protecting the artwork before sticking their hands on it.

This group, which accuses the Australian government of spending some A$11.6 billion in fossil fuel subsidies, demanded that Australia reduce carbon dioxide emissions and stop approving new gas and coal projects.

“Make COP27 count!” added the group, which claims to be part of the A22 global civil resistance network.

In a statement, the National Gallery of Australia said that it did not wish to promote the protesters’ actions and would make no further comments on the matter since it was being investigated by the police.

Today’s incident in Australia, one of the world’s biggest polluters per capita, is part of a spate of recent protests by climate change activists and takes place a time when the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27 climate summit) is underway in Egypt between Nov 6 and 18.

On Nov 5, two activists glued their hands to the frames of two paintings by Spanish artist Francisco Goya at Madrid’s Prado museum while in mid-October, two environmental protesters threw tomato soup over Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting at London’s National Gallery.

These protests demand compliance with the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit the increase in the global average temperature to below 1.5°Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.