Five environmental activists have glued themselves to a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, ‘The Last Supper’, over a spray-painted sign that reads “No New Oil”.
Police were called to the scene of the eight-metre artwork in the Royal Academy’s Collection Gallery to remove the protestors from the Just Stop Oil group.
The incident is the latest in a string of similar incidents where members of the group have glued themselves to major artworks at galleries across the capital.
Just last week, two climate protestors glued themselves to Van Gogh’s ‘Peach Trees In Blossom’ painting at the Courtauld Gallery, whilst on Monday two more did the same on John Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’ at the National Gallery.
Protesters spray-painted the words “No New Oil” on an exhibition wall at the Royal Academy in London on Tuesday, before gluing themselves to a copy of Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper on display there. pic.twitter.com/eF6VaJjf4R
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 5, 2022
Today’s action at the RA is the fifth time in the last week that protestors have “taken an act of civil resistance inside an art gallery,” according to the group.
The Last Supper copy at the RA was painted by one of da Vinci’s students, Giampietrino, in around 1520, and depicts one of the most recognisable biblical scenes.
The painting is a rarity as, unlike some earlier depictions of the Last Supper, it places Judas’ face in shadow to set him apart from the other Apostles, rather than excluding him from wearing a halo.
One of the five activists, art student Jessica Agar, 21, however, 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.
“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.”
A spokesperson for the RA confirmed that five people had entered the Collection Gallery and said the room had been closed to the public. “The police have been called upon the protestors’ request,” the spokesperson added.