They all pleaded not guilty. Three environmental activists from the Just Stop Oil movement, including the two who threw tomato soup on Van Gogh’s masterpiece on Friday Sunflowers, at the National Gallery in London, appeared in court on Saturday.
Anna Holland, 20, from Newcastle, and Phoebe Plummer, 21, from the south of the capital, are accused of causing damage of less than £5,000, saying the painting was not damaged because it was protected by glass.
Stop oil in the UK
During their act, they threw tomato soup at the famous painting by the Dutch painter before clinging to the wall. Only the frame was slightly damaged, and the canvas quickly found its place in the museum.
This stunt is part of a series of actions launched since the beginning of October by the Just Stop Oil movement, which calls for a halt to hydrocarbon extraction in the United Kingdom, which the Liz Truss government has decided to speed up amid the global energy crisis .
“You will not be prevented from protesting legally”
The judge released them on the condition that they do not enter any museum or gallery and no longer use paint or adhesives in public spaces. Their trial is set for December 13.
The third campaigner, Lora Johnson, 38 and from Suffolk, is accused of causing damage by painting a rotating sign outside Scotland Yard’s London headquarters in orange paint on Friday. She was released and her trial is set for November 23.
Other protesters stuck to the road and police said they arrested 24 people. “The court will not prevent you from protesting legally,” the judge said during the hearing, as the interior minister wants to tighten the crackdown on movements such as Just Stop Oil, accusing them of acts of “guerrilla warfare”.
Several Just Stop Oil activists have already been sentenced to prison for their protest actions.