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‘No visible damage’ to Stonehenge after Just Stop Oil protest

20 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Image Just Stop Oil

English Heritage chief executive Dr Nick Merriman said there appeared to be “no visible damage” to Stonehenge after Just Stop Oil activists sprayed it with orange powder paint.

Dr Merriman told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “It’s difficult to understand and we’re deeply saddened about this vandalism, but we’ve been really touched by the messages of sympathy and support we’ve had.

“Our experts have already managed to clean the orange powder from the stones because we were really worried about what would happen if they got in contact with water.

“So far, there seems to be no visible damage. The site is open to the public again and for the solstice tomorrow.”

Paint

Two activists from Just Stop Oil sprayed orange cornflour paint on the prehistoric stones on Wednesday (June 19).

Members of the public were heard shouting “no” and running to intervene as the campaigners, named by the group as Rajan Naidu, 73, and Niamh Lynch, 21, ran up to the stone circle.

Video footage posted on social media showed two people wearing white shirts with the slogan Just Stop Oil, approaching the monoliths with canisters spraying orange paint.

Several of the iconic stones – dating back to the late Neolithic period – were seen covered in the orange paint before one protester sat on the grass and the other was detained by a member of the public.

‘Vandalism’

Discussing the action by Just Stop Oil, Dr Merriman said: “It’s vandalism to one of the world’s most celebrated ancient monuments.

“We wish people would channel their protests away from cultural heritage sites, museums and galleries because we feel that doesn’t actually help their cause, and causes huge upset and disruption to the operation of these important sites.”

In a statement, Just Stop Oil said its action was to demand that the incoming UK Government should agree a plan with other governments to end the extraction and burning of oil, gas and coal by 2030.

A spokesperson said: “The UK’s government in waiting has committed to enacting Just Stop Oil’s original demand of ‘no new oil and gas’. However, we all know this is not enough.

“Continuing to burn coal, oil and gas will result in the death of millions. We have to come together to defend humanity or we risk everything.

“That’s why Just Stop Oil is demanding that our next government sign up to a legally binding treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030.”

The group said it used orange cornflour paint to spray onto the stones, which it claimed would “soon wash away with the rain”.

Around 8,000 people gathered at Stonehenge to mark the longest day of the year in 2023, with similar numbers expected on Thursday (June 20).

The solstice will be celebrate from 7pm on today until 8am on Friday (June 21).


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Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
24 days ago

I agree with the cause but not with the method. Defacing very fragile monuments is not the way to go about it.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
24 days ago

‘Acid Rain’ those where the days…

Mark
Mark
24 days ago

The cause is irrelevant. This shameless vandalism has to stop. These people have a right to voice their opinion, but they have absolutely no right to deface historical monuments, works of art, private jets or anything else.
I hope the criminal justice system makes an example of them.
I also wish the media would stop giving them the publicity they crave for. If we all ignore these attention-seeking idiots, perhaps they’ll give up and find something constructive to do.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
23 days ago

I’m pretty sure the Druids and Ancient Britons were “environmentalists” to some degree, worshipping nature and praying to their Gods to bring them good weather to nurture their crops.

There is no reason whatsoever to target such a place.

Given the spokesperson’s reaction on Sky News last night, the only thing they are interested in is attention.

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