Protesters threw soup at the painting in the National Gallery, but it was protected by a cover. One of the eco-activists who poured tomato soup at Sunflowers said she would never have done it if she thought it would damage the plant.
Phoebe Plummer, 21, glued herself to the wall of the National Gallery after carrying out the stunt with Anna Holland, 20, on Friday.
Images of the priceless painting covered in soup went viral, with fury from around the world directed at them. But defending her actions, Plummer said she knew that the artwork was covered by protective glass and that the canvas itself would not be touched. She said people might be angry, but that the important thing is that they were now talking about it – and the reason behind it, which is her anger at continued support for fossil fuels.
Both protesters wore ‘Just Stop Oil’ t-shirts, and Phoebe said that over 50 million people had now viewed a video of what they did while shouting ‘Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting or the protection of our planet and people?’
Speaking they said that while holding another can of Heinz soup, she said: ‘I want to make one thing perfectly clear. We did no damage to the painting whatsoever.
Plummer and Holland were released on bail on the condition they do not enter galleries or museums and do not have paint or adhesive substances in a public place. Their trial was set for December 13 at City of London Magistrates’ Court.