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Just Stop Oil protesters guilty of criminal damage to Van Gogh frame

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Two Just Stop Oil activists have been found guilty of causing criminal damage after glueing themselves to the frame of a Vincent van Gogh painting at a London art gallery.

Emily Brocklebank, 24, and Louis McKechnie, 22, caused just under £2,000 of damage at the Courtauld Gallery when they attached themselves to the 1889 work Peach Trees in Blossom, their trial heard on Tuesday.

The 18th-century frame, which is older than the painting itself, had been permanently damaged, District Judge Neeta Minhas told Westminster magistrates court.

“It is not in a state where it can return to its original state,” she added as she delivered her verdict. “The painting has significant, historical and art value and I consider the damage to be substantial. It is not minor, insignificant, temporary or trivial.”

A lawyer for the activists, who are part of a group waging disruptive protests until the government agrees to halt all new oil and gas projects, had asked a curator for the gallery if the action may have increased the value of the painting.

“Say the institute was to sell it on in 20 to…

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