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Climate Activists Protest in Front of Andy Warhol Paintings

The iconic Campbell’s Soup can paintings were defaced.

Recently, environmental activists have been targeting famous artworks to raise awareness about climate change and oppose oil industries. In a series of incidents, protesters have vandalized renowned paintings as a form of protest. In London, activists from Just Stop Oil splattered soup on Vincent Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” at the National Gallery. Subsequently, Letzte Generation protesters threw mashed potatoes at Monet’s “Les Meules” at the Museum Barberini. These acts were intended to highlight the urgency of addressing climate change and condemning the practices of oil companies.

This week, a new protest occurred at the National Gallery of Australia. Members of the Stop Fossil Fuel Subsidies group targeted Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s Tomato Soup paintings, known as Campbell’s Soup I. The activists used spray paint to deface the paintings and then secured their hands to a nearby wall.

Bonnie Cassen, one of the protesters, explained that they chose Warhol’s soup cans to symbolize excessive consumerism and the current state of capitalism. She emphasized that while families struggle to afford basic necessities like food and medicine, fossil fuel companies continue to make substantial profits, supported by government subsidies.

The Campbell’s soup can paintings were protected by glass and remained undamaged despite the spray paint. The gallery operators chose not to endorse or elaborate on the protest, simply stating, “A protest has occurred at the National Gallery of Australia following similar incidents in Australia and abroad. The national gallery does not endorse these actions and has no additional comments.”

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