Climate activists break glass protecting Velázquez's 'Rokeby Venus' at the National Gallery in London

The attackers said the British government's new oil licenses were the reason for the attempted destruction of the painting.

Two young climate activists attacked a famous painting by Spanish artist Diego de Velázquez with hammers in protest against energy measures from the British government. The attackers managed to break the glass that protects the painting in several points before making an announcement and sitting down to wait to be arrested.

Suffragette Mary Richardson's attack on the same painting in 1914

After the act of vandalism, the radical activist group, which has become famous after other similar attacks against works of art in museums around the world, uploaded a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) claiming that it was the response to Rishi Sunak's announcement that the country would grant new oil licenses.

The protesters pointed out that the attack was based on the feminist suffragette Mary Richardson, who in 1914 stabbed 7 holes, all now restored, in the painting as a protest against the imprisonment of her companion Emmeline Pankhurst. In their argument, both young people pointed out that "Women did not get the vote by voting; it is time for deeds not words."

Police proceeded to arrest the activists, accusing them of causing "criminal damage."