Climate Activists Arrested for Breaking Glass on 'The Toilet of Venus' Painting
At the National Gallery in London.
A number of Just Stop Oil activists were arrested for using hammers to break the glass that was protecting the 17th-century painting, The Toilet of Venus. Created by artist Diego Velázquez, the painting is currently on display at the National Gallery in London.
The incident follows a slew of recent events taking place at various art institutions in Europe, where protestors and students are aiming to raise awareness of the current climate crisis by destroying pieces of work. The painting portrays Venus, the goddess of love, reclining against bed sheets and looking into a mirror held up by her son, Cupid. Curators at the National Gallery have said that the painting is the most famous nude in their collection, and likely in all of Britain.
“Women did not get the vote by voting,” said a protestor on Twitter, after hammering the glass protecting the work. “It is time for deeds and not words. It is time to just stop oil,” she added. The second activist next to her then commented: “Politics is failing us. Politics failed women in 1914. If millions will die due to new oil and gas licensing, if we love art, if we love our families, we must just stop oil.”
The painting has since been removed to assess damages. Stay tuned for more details as the story develops.