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Fossil fuel protesters cover King Charles III waxwork with chocolate cake at Madame Tussauds

Updated 25th October 2022
Fossil fuel protesters cover King Charles III waxwork with chocolate cake at Madame Tussauds
Written by Toyin OwosejeChristian Edwards, CNN
Four people have been arrested for criminal damage, after a waxwork of King Charles III was vandalized at Madame Tussauds in London on Monday.
Two supporters of the campaign group Just Stop Oil were captured on camera smearing chocolate cake over the lifelike model of the British monarch.
In a video clip shared on the group's Twitter page, the pair are seen removing their black clothing to reveal white "Just Stop Oil" T-shirts once they reach the podium housing waxworks of the royal family. After throwing the cake, they tell the bystanders it is "time for action."
"We responded quickly to an incident at Madame Tussauds after two people threw food at a statue at approximately 10:50hrs," London's Metropolitan Police said in a tweet on Monday, adding: "Four people have been arrested for criminal damage related to this incident."
Just Stop Oil said the pair are "demanding that the Government halts all new oil and gas licenses and consents."
Monday's incident is the latest in a string of actions by activist groups across Europe designed to draw attention to the role of fossil fuels in climate change.
On Sunday, two climate crisis protesters pelted Claude Monet's "Haystacks" painting with mashed potatoes at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, Germany.
Climate protesters from the group Last Generation after throwing mashed potatoes at Monet's "Haystacks" at Potsdam's Barberini Museum on October 24
Climate protesters from the group Last Generation after throwing mashed potatoes at Monet's "Haystacks" at Potsdam's Barberini Museum on October 24 Credit: Last Generation/AP
The painting, which is glazed, was undamaged.
In a press release, activists from the anti-fossil fuel campaign Last Generation asked: "What is more valuable, art or life?"
Earlier this month, Just Stop Oil activists threw tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" in London's National Gallery.
The protests, however, have divided opinion.
Keir Starmer, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, condemned the actions of the "arrogant" Just Stop Oil activists, saying their methods undermined their cause.
"I think they're wrong, I think their action is wrong," he told a caller on LBC Radio on Monday morning.
He continued: "I particularly think about the images we've seen of ambulances coming down the road, and not being able to get through because people have glued themselves to the road."
Handout photo issued by Just Stop Oil of two protesters who threw tinned soup at Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" at the National Gallery in London on October 14
Handout photo issued by Just Stop Oil of two protesters who threw tinned soup at Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" at the National Gallery in London on October 14 Credit: Just Stop Oil/AP
"I think it's arrogant of those gluing themselves to the road to think they're the only people that have got the answer to this. They haven't got the answer."
Following the attack on Van Gogh's "Sunflowers," Britain's Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents many workers from the arts and culture sector, issued a statement saying that while they support the aims of climate change protests, "attacking our shared national heritage is not a constructive way to achieve these aims."
The union added: "We cannot endorse these extreme and dangerous tactics which put our members at risk whilst they try to work."
Sports broadcaster and former England soccer star Gary Lineker, on the other hand, was more sympathetic.
Sharing an interview by journalist Owen Jones conducted with the National Gallery protesters, Lineker told his 8.6 million Twitter followers: "Worth a listen, because, like it or not, no one will listen without disruptive protest"