CANBERRA – Climate protesters in Australia on Wednesday scrawled graffiti and glued themselves to an Andy Warhol artwork depicting Campbell's soup cans but didn't appear to damage the piece because it's encased in glass.
It was the latest incident in which climate protesters have targeted an iconic piece of art without causing permanent damage. Other protesters have thrown soup over Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in London and mashed potatoes at a Claude Monet painting in Germany.
A group called Stop Fossil Fuel Subsidies posted video to social media showing two women applying blue graffiti to five of 10 screen prints by Warhol depicting Campbell's soup cans and then gluing themselves to the work at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.
“We're in a climate emergency,” one of the women shouts.
The group said its members were highlighting the dangers of capitalism by gluing themselves to a work that depicts “consumerism gone mad.”
“While Australians starve, government pays $22,000 a minute to subsidize fossil fuels,” the group wrote on Twitter.
The protest ended quickly with the women being escorted from the building before the glue had time to set.
The large artwork is called “Campbell's Soup I” and was created by Warhol in New York in 1968, according to the museum. The protesters targeted the lower set of five prints which are more easily accessible.
The gallery said in a statement that a protest had taken place following similar incidents elsewhere in Australia and overseas. The gallery said it "does not wish to promote these actions and has no further comment.”
A police spokesperson said officers had responded to an incident involving two people at the gallery but at this point hadn't made any arrests.