Environmental protesters spray ‘orange powder paint’ on Britain’s Stonehenge

Written by on June 19, 2024

Nukorn Plainpan/Getty Images

(LONDON) — Environmental protesters sprayed an orange substance across part of Britain’s Stonehenge on Wednesday afternoon.

British environmental activist group Just Stop Oil posted video of the incident on the social media platform X, showing two of its supporters spraying three of the stones within the prehistoric megalithic structure on Salisbury Plain in southern England’s Wiltshire county. Both people were subsequently arrested, according to the group, which also posted video of police taking the two campaigners into custody.

Wiltshire Police confirmed in a statement Wednesday that its officers responded to the scene at Stonehenge and “arrested two people on suspicion of damaging the ancient monument.” An investigation into the incident is “ongoing,” the police department said.

Just Stop Oil wrote in a post on X that the sprayed substance is “orange powder paint” and “is made of cornstarch, which will wash away in the rain.”

“But the urgent need for effective government action to mitigate the catastrophic consequences of the climate and ecological crisis will not,” the group added.

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday that the action at Stonehenge came as the group demands the British government commits “to a legally binding treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030.”

A spokesperson for English Heritage, the charity that cares for Stonehenge and hundreds of other historic sites in England, confirmed to ABC News that “orange powdered paint has been thrown at a number of the stones at Stonehenge.”

“Obviously, this is extremely upsetting and our curators are investigating the extent of the damage,” the spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday. “Stonehenge remains open to the public.”

Stonehenge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the United Kingdom.

Just Stop Oil has become known for its disruptive environmental protests across the U.K., with its supporters causing closures on major roadways and public transportation and even vandalizing famous works of art in galleries and museums.

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