A priest and a retired teacher smash a case holding a copy of a book

CBS News

The glass case containing an original copy of the Magna Carta at the British Library in London was smashed by two environmental activists on Friday, causing minor damage to the reinforced box but leaving the historic document unscathed.
Sue Parfitt, 82, and Judy Bruce, an 85-year-old retired biology teacher, holding up a sign reading “The government is breaking the law,” before gluing themselves to the display.
The pair released a statement saying that they targeted the document to highlight the dangers of climate change.
“The Magna Carta is rightly revered, being of great importance to our history, to our freedoms and to our laws,” Parfitt said.
The library’s security team intervened to prevent further damage to the case surrounding the Magna Carta, which is considered one of the founding documents of Western democracy.
In January, two climate activists with the Food Riposte group dumped soup on the glass protecting the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris.
The group also targeted Johannes Vermeer’s iconic painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring” at the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, the Netherlands in October 2022.
Also in 2022, two climate activists threw mashed potatoes at Claude Monet’s “Les Meules” and then glued themselves underneath the painting at Museum Barberini in Potsdam, Germany.

NEUTRAL

Two environmental activists broke the glass case holding an original copy of the Magna Carta at the British Library in London on Friday. A minor amount of damage was done to the reinforced box, but the historic document was not broken.

Using a hammer and chisel, the two demonstrators from Just Stop Oil, a group that has repeatedly disrupted British society in its quest to reduce global dependency on fossil fuels, hammered away at the issue.

Online video footage of the Rev. Sue Parfitt, 82, and Judy Bruce, 85, a retired biology teacher, are seen holding up a sign that says, “The government is breaking the law,” and then attaching their own stickers to it.

The two said in a statement that they intended for the document to draw attention to the risks associated with climate change.

Parfitt remarked, “The Magna Carta is rightfully revered, being of great importance to our history, to our freedoms, and to our laws.”. However, should we permit climate breakdown to escalate into the impending catastrophe, then freedom, lawfulness, and rights will all be lost. “.

There have been two arrests, according to London’s Metropolitan Police.

Magna Carta, which is regarded as one of the foundational texts of Western democracy, was in dispute, and the library’s security team stepped in to stop further harm from occurring.

According to the library, the Treasures Gallery is now closed until further notice.

This was the most recent instance of vandalism against well-known works of art and historical objects in the public eye.

In January, two climate activists from the Food Riposte group in Paris poured soup on the glass enclosing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. In 2022, a man posing as an elderly woman in a wheelchair vandalized the well-known Leonardo Da Vinci painting by spreading cream cake across it.

Five Just Stop Oil activists were taken into custody in London in October 2023 after they stormed the stage during a West End production of Les Misérables. When “Do You Hear the People Sing” was playing, the demonstrators entered the stage holding orange banners that read, “The show can’t go on.”. Using bicycle locks, they secured themselves to a portion of the set as well. In October 2022, the group also set their sights on the famous painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer, which is housed at the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Another example of climate activism occurred in 2022 when two activists stuck themselves underneath Claude Monet’s “Les Meules” at the Museum Barberini in Potsdam, Germany, after throwing mashed potatoes at the painting. During the event, the painting sustained no damage.

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