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MOSCOW, November 8London police have charged two Just Stop Oil environmental activists who used hammers to smash the protective glass of Diego Velazquez's “Venus with a Mirror” in London's National Gallery to protest oil and gas development, the department said Wednesday.
"Forty-six more Just Stop Oil activists have been charged following Monday's riots. Among them are two people (who are charged with) causing unlawful damage at the London National Gallery,” says a message from law enforcement on the social network X.
After the incident, the painting was removed from display for further inspection by restorers. The protesters themselves said that their new action was a response to the British government's plans to increase the number of permits for oil production.
In 2022, activists from the environmental movement Just Stop Oil, which advocates stopping oil and gas production, glued themselves to paintings in galleries, threw paint on the buildings of various organizations, and organized protests and demonstrations that led to disruptions in traffic in central London.
In 2023, environmental activists continued their protests. In April, they even disrupted the first round matches of the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield by staining the table with orange powder paint. After this, they continued to interrupt various sporting events, and also repeatedly threw orange paint at university buildings across the country.