Just Stop Oil Activists Drench Stonehenge in Orange Powder Paint

Demanding that the UK government stop relying on coal and oil by the end of the decade.

Art
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While football fans were packing into pubs to watch UEFA EURO 2024, several members of the climate group Just Stop Oil sprayed an orange powdered paint over a portion of Stonehenge. The protestors proceeded in defacing the megalithic structure around noon local time in Salisbury, Wiltshire on June 19, just a day prior to summer solstice, which is believed to be one of the dates in the calendar year where ancient civilizations once performed rituals and ceremonies around the prehistoric columns.

A number of British politicians came out to lambast the group’s actions, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who labelled it a “disgraceful act of vandalism.” It’s certainly not the first time Just Stop Oil has taken over headlines for targeting artworks as a way to galvanize awareness towards the climate emergency. Last month, two elderly members had used a lump hammer to crack the glass encasing the Magna Carta, which follows a similar incidence at the National Gallery in London and another back in 2022, where a Just Stop Oil activist glued his ear to Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Just Stop Oil said in a statement that the orange paint would “wash away with rain” and wouldn’t result in permanent damage. According to BBC correspondent, Paul Clifton, however, more experts will be needed “to inspect the stone before forming an opinion.” The climate group sprayed the ancient stone structures to implore the British government to stop the extraction and burning of oil and coal by the end of the decade or risk losing everything. The two Just Stop Oil members were immediately arrested by police following the incident.

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