Climate Protestors Glue Themselves to 500-Year-Old Copy of Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper'

The protest was organized by Just Stop Oil, which has asked the British government to stop granting new oil and gas licenses

Protestor glued to Leonardo Da Vinci - The Last Super
Photo: Kristian Buus/In Pictures/Getty

Climate change protestors glued themselves to a copy of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper at London's Royal Academy of Arts on Tuesday.

According to the Associated Press, a group of protestors spray-painted "No New Oil" on a wall before gluing themselves to the painting's frame to bring attention to the ongoing climate change crisis. The protest was organized by Just Stop Oil, a group that has asked the British government to halt new oil and gas licenses.

Metropolitan Police told AP that the protestors — made up of three men and two women — were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. The Royal Academy said police were "called upon the protestors' request."

The painting is a 500-year-old copy of da Vinci's famous artwork and has been attributed to da Vinci's student Giampietrino and painter Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, NPR reported.

"The painting of The Last Supper is unharmed, however, the frame has been damaged with glue and solvent stains," the Royal Academy said in a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday. "The spray paint below the painting has been removed."

"The Collection Gallery at the Royal Academy of Arts will be open to the public today, however our conservators will continue to work on the frame, so some areas of the gallery will be roped off," they added.

Just Stop Oil did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Protestors glue themselves to Leonardo Da Vinci - The Last Supper
Kristian Buus/In Pictures via Getty

The activist group said they had "disrupted a major art institution in an act of civil resistance," in a statement on their website. In the message, members asked for additional policies to curb climate change.

"When I was teaching I brought my students to great institutions like the Royal Academy," said 47-year-old activist and former primary teacher Lucy Porter. "But now it feels unfair to expect them to respect our culture when their government is hellbent on destroying their future by licensing new oil and gas projects."

"We will stop disrupting art institutions as soon as the government makes a meaningful statement to do so," she continued. "Until then, the disruption will continue so that young people know we are doing all we can for them. There is nothing I would rather be doing."

Just Stop Oil is behind other recent protests. On Monday, activists from the group glued themselves to the frame of John Constable's The Hay Wain in London's National Gallery, AP reported.

At the protest, two activists covered the 1821 painting with large sheets of paper before gluing themselves to the frame. The duo was later arrested.

Protestors disrespect Hay Wain painting
Kristian Buus/In Pictures via Getty

According to the group's statement on the demonstration, the sheets of paper showed a "reimagined version carries a nightmare scene that demonstrates how oil will destroy our countryside."

The statement continued: "The river has gone, to be replaced by a road, airplanes fill the sky, pollution belches from cities on the horizon, trees are scorched by wildfires, an old car is dumped in front of the Mill and the famous Hay Wain cart carries an old washing machine."

On June 30, protestors from Just Stop Oil glued themselves to a Vincent Van Gogh painting at London's Courtauld Gallery.

"As a kid I used to love this painting. I still love this painting, but I love my friends and family more, I love nature more. I value the future survival of my generation more highly than my public reputation," protestor Louis McKechnie, 21, said in a statement.

"I'm not willing to be marched to my death by the fossil fuel companies and their government puppets," McKehnie continued. "It is immoral for cultural institutions to stand by and watch whilst our society descends into collapse. Galleries should close. Directors of art institutions should be calling on the government to stop all new oil and gas projects immediately. We are either in resistance or we are complicit."

Protestor Glues themselves to Van Gogh Painting
Kristian Buus/In Pictures via Getty

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Just Stop Oil activists have also conducted protests at the Glasgow Art Gallery and the Manchester Art Gallery.

In addition to the disruptions in art galleries, six more activists from Just Stop Oil were arrested following a protest during a Formula 1 race at the Silverstone Circuit in England, BBC reported.

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