Green activists including 'terrified' Swindon man glue hands to famous painting

·2-min read
Just Stop Oil protesters glue their hands to The Last Supper. Picture:  Matthew Newby/SWNS
Just Stop Oil protesters glue their hands to The Last Supper. Picture: Matthew Newby/SWNS

A SWINDON green activist was among a group of protesters who glued their hands to The Last Supper painting at the Royal Academy in London

Four Just Stop Oil supporters sprayed paint inside of the Academy building in cental London before glueing their hands to the frame of the famous painting in the latest in a series of high-profile protests.

They are calling on the government to commit to immediately halt new oil and gas licenses in the UK and for the directors, employees and members of art institutions to join the Just Stop Oil coalition in peaceful civil resistance.

Tristan Strange, 40, a community organiser from Swindon, said: “I'm terrified for our future.

"We are heading for a collapse of our food supply and a world in which only the rich can feed themselves comfortably.

"Time is running out to change course or prepare for disaster and the message is not reaching the public: there is no free pass, we are all in this together and we must all rise up in civil resistance to force the government to stop new oil and gas.

“Da Vinci said that art is the Queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world. The science still isn't being heard."

He added: “We are continually fed comforting lies that downplay the urgency of the climate crisis we face so that fossil fuel interests can continue to reap huge profits whilst the global south and our children are condemned to live in a potential hell.

"I call on all artists to harness every ounce of their creativity sounding the alarm in the hope that it cuts through the misinformation. Nothing is more critical at the moment."

The Last Supper, attributed to Giampietrino, is a full-scale copy of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous work. Giampietrino is thought to have been a pupil of Leonardo.

The painting depicts the biblical scene when Jesus announces that one of his Twelve Apostles will betray him.

Another of the protesters, art student Jessica Agar, 21 from Hereford, said: “No painting is worth more than my six-month-old nephew’s life.

"No sculpture can feed babies starving because extreme heat killed food crops.

"Nurses are lining up outside food banks, not galleries.

"If the directors of this gallery really believe that art has the power to change the world then I demand that they claim that power, close and refuse to open until the government commits to no new oil.

“I am an art student, but there is no place for me to follow my calling as an artist in a world where I have no future.

"In no uncertain terms, the establishment - of which the Royal Academy is a part - has condemned me and all young people to suffer. I am outraged and you should be too.”

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