Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in the soup — this is how activists decided to decorate their protest

Glam Style
2 min readOct 17, 2022

Climate activists poured soup over van Gogh’s world-famous “Sunflowers,” which hangs in the National Gallery in London. They opposed the actions of the government and oil companies.

[Photo: Vincent van Gogh, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

Last Friday (October 14), an unusual incident occurred at the National Gallery in London. Two climate activists from the Just Stop Oil movement doused van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” hanging there with soup and then taped themselves to the wall. What is more important — art or life? — they shouted. Both were arrested.

Activists doused van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” with soup

The activists touched on the climate crisis and the rising price of heating or preparing food. They opposed the government, as well as the oil companies. The whole thing was recorded by the aforementioned movement.

“This gallery shows human creativity and brilliance, but our heritage is being destroyed by our government’s inability to address the climate crisis and the rising cost of living,” reads the description of the video, which was posted on Just Stop Oil’s official Twitter profile.

From the material, we learn that the behavior of the female activists surprised and outraged the people gathered in the gallery. Guards were called in, followed by the police, according to British media reports. The Daily Mail news service reported that the women were unhooked from the wall and arrested. They heard the charges.

It is worth mentioning that van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” was not destroyed. The painting, whose value is estimated at £84 million, is behind glass, which this time protected it from the soup can. Minor damage is only visible on the frame.

It turns out that this was not a one-off action. As reported in the British media, led by The Guardian, Just Stop Oil has been organizing protests in the UK for two weeks now. What’s more, members of the organization have announced further “acts of resistance.”



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