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After highways: Climate activists glue themselves to Vincent van Gogh's painting

With their action in a London museum, the members of "Just Stop Oil" want to draw attention to the art world's complicity in the climate crisis.

Two climate protection activists from the group Just Stop Oil glued themselves to an oil painting by Vincent Van Gogh at London's Courtauld Gallery on Thursday afternoon. They protested against the alleged complicity of the art world in climate change.

Louis McKechnie, 21, and Emily Brocklebank, 24, glued themselves to "Peach Trees in Blossom" The French landscape was painted in 1889 just weeks after Van Gogh cut off his ear during a period of instability. So far, it's unclear if the stunt damaged the painting.

The group Just Stop Oil wants to put pressure on the British government to stop issuing licenses for fossil fuels. It calls on cultural institutions to join them in civil resistance, it said in a statement.

McKechnie, who claims to have been a fan of the "Peach Trees in Blossom" since childhood, called it "immoral" that arts institutions stand by while the government continues to allow fossil fuel extraction, saying galleries are closing and artists should raise their voice.

Just Stop Oil pointed out in a statement that Provence, the region of France portrayed by Van Gogh in Peach Trees in Blossom, is at risk of a severe drought this summer as there has been little rainfall this year.

Five members of the group were arrested at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery on Wednesday after spray-painting the gallery's walls and floor and pasting themselves to another painting. Last month, a man threw cakes at Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa at Paris' Louvre Museum, claiming he did so in the name of climate change.

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