LONDON (AP) — Five climate change protesters were fined Wednesday for gluing themselves to the frame of a copy of Leonardo da Vinci's “The Last Supper” in the Royal Academy of Arts.
The five activists from the group Just Stop Oil glued their hands to the painting's border and one sprayed graffiti on the wall at the London museum in July, as part of a series of disruptive protests aimed at raising awareness about climate change.
On Wednesday, following a two-day trial, District Judge William Nelson ordered all five to pay 486 pounds ($587) each for criminal damage. He said the protesters were “reckless” because they knew they would damage the painting's frame — but also said that the “primary cause” of the protest “was to gain media attention and not to cause damage to a work of art."
The 16th-century painting, which was unharmed, is attributed to one or more of Da Vinci's pupils and is believed to be the most accurate record of the original.
Just Stop Oil said it wanted to put pressure on Britain's government to halt new oil and gas licenses. In October, activists made international headlines when they threw tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh's “Sunflowers” at London's National Gallery. They caused no harm to the glass-covered painting.
Other protesters from the group stormed the track at last year's British Grand Prix Formula 1 race. Six activists were charged with causing a public nuisance for the protest, and on Wednesday a jury retired to consider its verdict after a two-week trial over the case.