Just Stop Oil protesters damaged The Hay Wain in gluing stunt
Just Stop Oil protesters damaged Constable’s The Hay Wain in gluing stunt, gallery says, as eco zealot is revealed to be high-flying hypocrite who racked up 50,000 air miles jetting to Bali, Australia and the Canary Islands
- Hannah Hunt, 23, and Eben Lazarus, 22, attacked The Hay Wain at the National Gallery in London yesterday
- Miss Hunt is accused of racking up huge carbon footprint on exotic trips to Bali, Australia and Europe
- She racked up 49,404 air miles in five years including trip to Canary Islands to ‘escape chilly British weather’
- These flights alone would have emitted 13 tons of carbon dioxide as Just Stop Oil lectures on climate change
- Earlier this year she glued herself to the red carpet at the Baftas and she broke into an ExxonMobil oil refinery
Just Stop Oil damaged Constable’s masterpiece The Hay Wain in their latest stunt as MailOnline can reveal that one of the eco-vandals arrested at the National Gallery is a hypocrite yachtswoman who has racked up tens of thousands of carbon-belching air miles travelling the globe while lecturing on climate change.
Brighton students Hannah Hunt, 23, and Eben Lazarus, 22, were held after sticking large sheets of paper over the 200-year-old painting’s Suffolk landscape, replacing it with a scene of scorched trees, polluted skies, and discarded household waste – and then gluing their hands to the frame.
Hunt and Lazarus lectured the public on fossil fuels being a ‘death project’ and warning of the ‘total collapse of society’ yesterday, but Miss Hunt previously admitted she ‘impulse flew to the Canaries to escape chilly British weather’, MailOnline can reveal.
A spokesman for the National Gallery, confirmed the painting had been damaged, and said: ‘Police attended and removed the protestors at around 4.40pm, and they were then arrested. The painting was removed from the wall to be examined by our Conservation team. The Hay Wain suffered minor damage to its frame and there was also some disruption to the surface of the varnish on the painting – both of which have now been successfully dealt with’.
The painting, considered John Constable’s greatest work and a ‘national treasure’, will be rehung today. While its cultural value to the nation is priceless, the record price for a Constable at auction was £22.5million for The Lock ten years ago.
But it was the target of another attack by Just Stop Oil, who have recently moved from disrupting football matches and shutting down oil refineries to attacking pieces of art.
Yesterday security guards watched as Hunt and fellow student Lazarus, who describes himself as a ‘musician and activist’, forced the National Gallery to evacuate art lovers, tourists and a class of 11-year-old children on a school trip from Room 34 where the painting hangs.
MailOnline can reveal that Miss Hunt, 23, is the co-founder of Just Stop Oil whose social media pages are adorned with exotic holiday pictures from locations including south-east Asia, Australia and the Canary Islands. Earlier this year she glued herself to the red carpet at the Bafta awards, and she has broken into an ExxonMobil oil refinery in Hampshire.
The former XR supporter even used the long haul trips to try to bolster her environmental credentials, telling social media followers from Bali: ‘Can we look back in another 50 years and say we did everything to protect our pretty cool planet?’
If Miss Hunt flew to every destination, which she most likely did, she would have clocked up 49,404 air miles over five years and been responsible for the emissions of 13 tons of carbon dioxide. The European average – per person – is 8.4 tons in a whole year, according to the My Climate website.
Just Stop Oil co-founder Hannah Hunt, 23, and student Eben Lazarus, 22, both of Brighton, were pictured with their hands glued to the frame of John Constable’s 1821 masterpiece at the National Gallery in London yesterday. The stunt damaged the painting and frame
Student Hannah Hunt, 23, is the co-founder of Just Stop Oil whose social media pages are adorned with exotic holiday pictures from locations including Bali, Australia and the Canary Islands
Miss Hunt’s Instagram shows her holidaying in locations including Australia, Greece, Gran Canaria and Bali (pictured), where she asked followers: ‘Can we look back in another 50 years and say we did everything to protect our pretty cool planet?’
It is not known if the activist chose to offset the carbon from her flights, which would cost a total of £379, according to non-profit Atmosfair
Eco-zealots from Just Stop Oil cover John Constable’s The Hay Wain with their own apocalyptic pictures
Aspiring musician Eben Lazarus, 22, was seen alongside Ms Hunt as he supported her through Just Stop Oil’s latest stunt.
He and Hunt were removed and arrested at 4.45pm and taken off site, and the priceless national treasure was then removed by staff at the gallery.
The eco-zealot was last pictured actively blocking departures at Gray’s oil depot in Essex and also disrupting traffic on Britain’s motorways.
Lazarus’s father is a musician and wedding singer, while his grandfather is Dr Norman Lazarus and 84-year-old professor at King’s College London whose research interests include how to age more gracefully.
It is not known if the eco-activist chose to offset the carbon from her flights, which would cost a total of £379, according to non-profit Atmosfair.
The student co-founded Just Stop Oil in February, marching on No 10 to tell Boris Johnson to ‘intervene’ to prevent ‘the ultimate crime against our country, humanity and life on Earth’.
The aspiring psychologist has become a hero among eco-zealot supporters of the group, which formed as a breakaway of Extinction Rebellion.
Hunt and Lazarus were both arrested at around 4.45pm following their eco-vandal stunt earlier today.
Just Stop Oil said their reimagined version of the 1821 priceless work, which depicts a rural scene on the River Stour in Suffolk, shows a ‘nightmare scene that demonstrates how oil will destroy our countryside’.
Miss Hunt said today of her eco-vandalism: ‘We can forget our “green and pleasant land” as further oil extraction will lead to widespread crop failures which means we will be fighting for food. Ultimately, new fossil fuels are a death project by our government.
‘So yes, there is glue on the frame of this famous painting, but there is blood on the hands of our government.
‘The disruption will end as soon as the UK government makes a meaningful statement that it will end new oil and gas licenses.’
The Brighton-based activist, from Cumbria, who studies at Sussex University, said after protests she enjoys ‘a weird, dreamy, calm mindset’ she finds empowering.
Her father runs an environmental consultancy firm and her family purchased an early 20th century property on the west coast of Scotland that has one of the lowest possible energy efficiency available.
Heating and lighting the home results in approximately 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide being put back into the atmosphere, which is double Scotland’s average according to the national register for Energy Performance Certificates.
The family also own a five-bedroom home near Kendal, Cumbria.
Miss Hunt is one of several middle-class campaigners who have been holding Britain’s motorists to ransom throughout this year.
Their protests continued in April when activists climbed onto lorries at the Grays depot. Dozens were arrested at three oil sites.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Extinction Rebellion supporters blocked four bridges and a major roundabout in central London.
Co-founder of Just Stop Oil, Hannah Hunt, 23, was seen in a video from the rafters of a major oil depot in Grays, Essex, with Eben Lazarus when Just Stop Oil blockaded the plant earlier this year. It is not known if they are a couple
Her social media shows pictures enjoying holidays and sailing trips in exotic locations including Bali, Australia and the Canary Islands
If she flew to every destination, she would have clocked up 49,404 air miles over five years and been responsible for the emissions of 13 tons of carbon dioxide
Environmental activists have bemoaned the impact of air travel, saying individual flights can release more CO2 into the atmosphere than some people generate in a year.
A return economy journey to Bali releases 4.2 tons of carbon dioxide, while a return ticket to Australia would generate 6.1 tons.
Just Stop Oil began daily protests just two months ago, demanding the Government commits to end all new oil and gas projects in the UK.
The group has also faced criticism for attaching themselves to famous pieces of art in Glasgow and Manchester, with works by Van Gogh and J.M.W Turner all targeted in recent weeks.
Art historians and experts have all raised concerns that the vandals could have caused irreparable damage to the iconic masterpieces.
Dr Adrian Hilton, who is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, said today: ‘How is this even possible in the National Gallery? I mean, it’s a John Constable masterpiece; a national treasure. Is it really this easy to paper over or – God forbid – destroy it?’
The National Gallery later released a statement clarifying The Hay Wain suffered minor damage to its frame and on the painting’s varnish, both of which have been dealt with before it is re-hung in Gallery Room 34 on Tuesday.
Pictured: Louis McKechnie and Hannah Hunt outside Downing Street in February
Miss Hunt co-founded Just Stop Oil in February, marching on No 10 to tell Boris Johnson to prevent ‘the ultimate crime against our country, humanity and life on Earth’. Above, a driver drags a Just Stop Oil activist from his oil tanker
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