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Climate Advocates Stage Demonstration in Front of Andy Warhol Artworks


Climate Advocates Stage Demonstration in Front of Andy Warhol Artworks

The art pieces featuring Campbell’s Soup containers were defaced.

Protestors active in the climate change and anti-oil movements have consistently chosen prominent artworks and paintings as targets for their demonstrations. Just last month, members of Just Stop Oil vandalized Vincent Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” with soup at the National Gallery in London. Shortly after, participants from Letzte Generation threw mashed potatoes at Monet’s “Les Meules” displayed at the Museum Barberini. These bold actions aim to highlight the urgency of addressing climate change and the unethical practices of global oil corporations.

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This week, a different activist group joined in by targeting the National Gallery of Australia. The Stop Fossil Fuel Subsidies organization caused a stir when they infiltrated the gallery and targeted one of its prized collections – Andy Warhol’s iconic paintings of Campbell’s Tomato Soup, collectively referred to as Campbell’s Soup I. The activists defaced the paintings with spray paint and then attached their hands to the adjacent wall.

Expressing her motivation, protestor Bonnie Cassen explained that Warhol’s soup cans were initially meant to criticize “out-of-control consumerism,” serving as a poignant symbol for the protest. She stated, “Today, what we witness is out-of-control capitalism. Families are grappling with decisions between basic needs like medication or food for their children while fossil fuel giants reap exorbitant profits. Meanwhile, our government continues to provide $22,000 per minute in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.”

Due to the protective glass covering the paintings, they remained unharmed by the spray paint. The gallery’s management chose to keep their response brief and succinct.

“A demonstration occurred at the National Gallery of Australia in the wake of similar events both in Australia and abroad,” they remarked. “The national gallery does not endorse such actions and refrains from further commentary.”

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