Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Just Stop Oil demonstrators in protest at London’s Royal Academy

Protesters from Just Stop Oil climate protest group glue their hands to the frame of a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s, The Last Supper (James Manning/PA)
Protesters from Just Stop Oil climate protest group glue their hands to the frame of a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s, The Last Supper (James Manning/PA)

Climate protesters have struck for the fifth time in a week at a major art gallery – this time by sticking themselves to the frame of a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper.

Five Just Stop Oil (JSO) supporters attached themselves to the frame while the words “No New Oil” were spray-painted in white letters on to the red plinth under the vast painting at the Royal Academy (RA) in central London.

One of the protesters branded the Government a “Judas” to future generations as he said the group had taken its campaign to the “magnificent beautiful painting” because the future is “bleaker than ever”.

The painting represents the scene when Jesus announced that one of his 12 apostles would betray him, during the last time he dined with them before he was crucified.

The campaigners are calling for the Government to halt new oil and gas licences in the UK and for the directors, employees and members of art institutions to join the JSO protests.

Security guards soon cleared the largely empty gallery of visitors.

The guerrilla tactics were condemned by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries who tweeted: “These attention seekers aren’t helping anything other than their own selfish egos.

“Disrupting access to our fabulous cultural assets and putting them at risk of damage is unacceptable.

“These protesters should be removed and held responsible for the damage and disruption.”

During Tuesday’s protest, one of the activists said: “The truth is any new oil expansion is a death sentence, a death sentence for the future.

“It is a death sentence for younger generations. It is a death sentence for the nature that has directly inspired art for hundreds of thousands of years.”

Just Stop Oil protest
Protesters attached themselves to the frame while the words ‘No New Oil’ were spray-painted in white on to the red plinth (James Manning/PA)

He suggested the Government is “betraying the younger generations and those in the global south who are facing the worst impacts” of climate change.

An RA spokesman said: “The room has been closed to the public. The police have been called upon the protesters’ request.”

JSO later named some of the protesters as Lucy Porter, 47, a former primary teacher from Leeds, Jessica Agar, a 21 year-old art student from Hereford, and Tristan Strange, 40, a community organiser from Swindon.

In a statement, Ms Porter said: “My job as a teacher was to encourage my students to take inspiration from the great works of art housed by institutions like the Royal Academy.

“How can our Government expect young people to respect culture when they are encouraging new oil and gas projects that will be our children’s death sentence?”

Ms Agar added: “As an art student, I deeply respect and value the artworks themselves, but I also value the power that art has to change the world. It’s that power I speak to today.

“Artists and galleries are failing to meaningfully take action against the climate emergency.

“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.”

Mr Strange added: “Time is running out to change course or prepare for disaster and the message is not reaching the public or our politicians. We must stop new oil and gas immediately.

“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.”

Just Stop Oil protest
The Royal Academy said the police were called at the protesters’ request (James Manning/PA)

Da Vinci created The Last Supper between 1492 and 1497-48, and the RA’s full-size copy of it was painted by one or more of his pupils.

The RA copy – which is attributed to Giampietrino and Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio – is believed to be the most accurate record of the original and was painted in around 1515-20.

The oil on canvas painting is about 9ft 11in (3020mm) by 25ft 9in (7850mm), which makes it slightly smaller than the original.

In the last week, JSO activists have allegedly attached themselves to a 19th-century landscape by Horatio McCulloch called My Heart’s In The Highlands, which hangs in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

They are also alleged to have sprayed the group’s logo on the walls and floor of the renowned gallery in orange paint.

Just Stop Oil protest
Just Stop Oil protesters glued their hands to the frame of a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper at the Royal Academy (James Manning/PA)

They have also allegedly attached themselves to Vincent Van Gogh’s 1889 work Peach Trees In Blossom at The Courtauld Gallery in London.

Another alleged target has been a JMW Turner painting at Manchester Art Gallery.

Arrests were also made after two activists allegedly glued themselves to the frame of John Constable’s The Hay Wain at central London’s National Gallery on Monday and covered it with a reimagined scene of the destruction that climate change could cause to the landscape.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “At 11.37am on Tuesday 5 July, police were called to Burlington House, Piccadilly, following reports that protesters had glued themselves to artwork.

“Officers attended. Three men and two women were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. They remain in custody.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]