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Climate change protesters fined for ‘Last Supper’ protest


LONDON — Five climate change protesters were fined on Wednesday for gluing themselves to the frame of a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” at the Royal Academy of Arts.

The five activists from the group Just Stop Oil taped their hands to the edge of the painting and one of them spray-painted graffiti on the wall in the London museum in July, as part of a series of disruptive protests to raise awareness about climate change.

On Wednesday, after a two-day trial, District Judge William Nelson ordered all five to pay 486 pounds ($587) each for criminal damages. He said the protesters were “reckless” because they knew they would damage the painting’s frame – but also said the “primary cause” of the protest “was to gain media attention and not to harm a piece of art.”

The 16th-century painting, which was unscathed, is attributed to one or more of Da Vinci’s pupils and is considered the most accurate representation of the original.

Just Stop Oil said it wanted to put pressure on the British government to stop 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 damage to the glass-covered painting.

Other demonstrators from the group stormed the circuit during last year’s British Grand Prix Formula 1 race. Six activists were charged with causing public disturbance to the protest, and on Wednesday a jury retired to consider its verdict after a two-week trial on the case.

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