Climate protesters are using art to push the UK government to take action against climate change. On Tuesday, a group of five people from the activist group Just Stop Oil glued themselves to a 500-year-old copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting The Last Supper at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. Underneath the image, they wrote the message “No New Oil” with spray paint.
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The painting depicts a scene from the Bible in which Jesus participates in his last dinner with the Twelve Apostles before he is crucified. The painting is attributed to Leonardo Davinci’s student Giampietrino.
Related: Artwork brings attention to the urgency of climate change
Just Stop Oil activists have been busy pushing the UK government to take action to change the country’s emissions, calling on officials to commit to ending new oil and gas licenses immediately. They are also calling on art institutions and players to support the peaceful civil resistance.
Protestors from the group recently glued themselves to portraits in other museums and art galleries across the UK including Glasgow, Manchester, and London. Among the art houses used in the protests are the Manchester Art Gallery and the National Gallery in London.
Six activists from the same group were recently arrested at the Silverstone Circuit in England following protests at a Formula 1 race. The activists say that they are using such public events and places to pressure the government into taking action. Their target is to force global leaders to adhere to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and other global pacts.
Global leaders signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2016, agreeing to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100. To achieve this, each country was required to put in place policies and practical solutions to cut carbon emissions and other factors that affect climate. Scientists say the most catastrophic effects of global warming can be prevented, but the world is not on track to meet that target.
“We have no time left, to say that we do is a lie. We must halt all new oil and gas right now, we will stop disrupting art institutions as soon as the government makes a meaningful statement to do so,” Lucy Porter, 47, a former primary teacher from Leeds that participated in the demonstration, said in a statement provided by Just Stop Oil.
The Royal Academy of the Arts didn’t immediately return NPR’s request for comment. It’s unclear if the painting suffered any damage as a result of the demonstration.
Via NPR, NY Times
Lead image via Pexels