Protestors Vandalize Precious Van Gogh painting

By: Kailea Mundorf and Hannah Chang

Global climate change has been an important issue, prevalent to our planet’s future. Many environmental advocates have begun taking more drastic measures to get their message across, but at what cost?

Two protesters marked their stance against global emissions this Oct. 14 at the National Gallery in London. To show their disappointment in the global leaders, protestors threw canned tomato soup at this iconic painting, “Sunflowers.” Proceeding this, the duo glued their hands to the wall below, before being escorted out and charged with criminal damage offenses.

Thankfully, there was no permanent damage done to the actual painting. However, the frame encasing the work is stained. Even with this damage, Mt. Hebron environmentalist Kate Mundorf believes that this protest is justified.

“What is this painting even going to matter if we don’t help the environment now? What does it matter if the whole world is destroyed?” Mundorf says.

Most other activists agree with this statement, valuing the future of our planet over materialistic items, like this painting. However, others gather that this painting should have been treasured and respected in the same way as the messages from these activists.

Mt. Hebron dancer and environmentalist Rachael Gordon believes that these protestors could have shared their message, but without tampering with anything inside the art gallery.

“I understand the reason behind it, but I don’t support vandalizing people’s art because he made that. The protestors should have shown their feeling towards fossil fuels in another way,” Gordon states.

Because the course of action taken by the activists had such an important artifact involved, people’s views on whether or not the decisions of the activist group are justified. 

“I really think that this was a good way to get their message across because they knew it would get publicity, and they knew that their message wasn’t getting heard. So I think this was a good course of action,” says Mundorf. 

“There could have been more people involved and done something like outside of the art gallery, and not have gone inside to tamper with anything,” states Gordon. 

Some people think that rescuing the environment is an urgent priority while others think preserving a painting by Van Gogh is. The environment nurtures the Earth’s species and provides us humans with the resources we need. Van Gogh was, and still is, the greatest artist of all time and one of the most famous figures in the history of Western art. Either way, people will always have differing opinions on the actions of the Just Stop Oil activists.

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