Climate protesters threw soup over Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers in London’s National Gallery on Friday to protest fossil fuel extraction, but caused no damage to the glass-covered painting.
The group Just Stop Oil, which wants the British government to halt new oil and gas projects, said activists dumped two cans of tomato soup over the oil painting, one of the Dutch artist’s most iconic works. The two protesters also glued themselves to the gallery wall.
The soup splashed across the glass covering the painting and its gilded frame. The gallery said “there is some minor damage to the frame but the painting is unharmed.” It was cleaned and returned to its place in the gallery on Friday afternoon.
The work is one of several versions of Sunflowers that Van Gogh painted in the late 1880s.
London’s Metropolitan Police said officers arrested two people on suspicion of criminal damage and aggravated trespass.