Just Stop Oil activists sentenced to prison for protesting Vermeer

Just Stop Oil activists sentenced to prison for protesting Vermeer

Just Stop Oil activists sentenced to prison for protesting Vermeer

Is written Oscar Holland, CNN

The Dutch court sent two Belgians climate change Activists were jailed Wednesday for protesting Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”

The protesters, who are part of the campaign group Just Stop Oil Belgium, were each given two-month sentences, one of which was suspended.

In widely shared video In an incident at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague last week, a man can be seen with his head stuck to a famous artwork. Another protester, who has yet to be sentenced, then poured a can of tomato soup over the first man’s shirt before pinning his own hand to the wall. A third person filmed the stunt.

“How do you feel when you see something so beautiful and priceless being destroyed right in front of your eyes?” One of the men asked the onlookers in English. “Do you feel outraged, well, where is that feeling when you see the planet being destroyed before our eyes?”

Just Stop Oil activists sentenced to prison for protesting Vermeer

Police officers stand guard outside the Mauritshuis museum shortly after the incident on October 27, 2022. Credit: Phil Nijhuisanp/ANP/AFP/Getty Images

The objections of the visitors of the gallery can be heard shouting “obscene” and “shame on you”.

“This picture is protected by glass, it’s just fine,” continued the protester. “Vulnerable people in the Global South, they are not protected. The future of our children is not protected.”

Museum said The 17th-century masterpiece was “unharmed” and was returned to the public the following day. The Dutch public prosecutor’s office added that the 19th-century frame, however, was damaged during the protest.

In a press release announcing the verdict, prosecutors said they wanted to “send a signal” to activists, adding: “The work of art hanging there, for all to enjoy, has been defaced by (defendants) who have felt their message. took precedence over everything else.”

Prosecutors had originally asked for four months, two of which were suspended, but the judge said he did not want his sentence to deter other people from protesting, Reuters reported.

Related video: Why is art so expensive?

The two men were tried by summary judgment on charges of destruction of the painting and open violence. The third activist, who disagreed with the speedy process of the trial, will appear in court on Friday. Prosecutors said the three were “jointly responsible” for the act, Reuters reports.

The ruling follows a series of anti-fossil fuel protests that have targeted art galleries, car showrooms and company headquarters in recent weeks. Last month, two protesters threw Claude Monet’s Haystacks mashed potatoes At the Barberin Museum in Potsdam, Germany. At the same time there were two Just Stop Oil protesters is charged in the UK with criminal damage offenses after they threw tomato soup on Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’.

Responding to the court ruling on Wednesday, Just Stop Oil Belgium, which is not related to its British namesake, told Reuters by email:

Additional report from Reuters.

Visitors look at Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague.

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