Climate activists doused an Emily Carr painting with maple syrup at the Vancouver Art Gallery Saturday afternoon (Nov. 12).
Two climate activists, Erin Fletcher and another person with the activist group Stop Fracking Around, poured maple syrup on Carr's "Stumps and Sky" painting at the gallery and then glued themselves to the wall.
According to the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), the two women then "posed for a third person who appeared to be taking pictures or video," writes Sgt. Addison in an email to V.I.A., adding that staff at the Vancouver Art Gallery called police in the afternoon after the incident.
The act is to "demand an end to the Coastal GasLink Pipeline on unceded Wet'suwet'en lands," and to bring attention to the drilling under the Wedzin Kwa River in Northern B.C., reads a press release by the group.
"We are taking this action following Remembrance Day to remind ourselves of the countless deaths that took place, and will continue to take place, due to the greed, corruption and incompetence of our leaders," says Fletcher, adding that "the Wet'suwet'en nation has made it very clear that they do not want this pipeline on their unceded lands."
The group also claims to be acting in accordance with a statement by First World War Canadian Corps Commander Julian Byng which reads "in an emergency, the man who does something is sometimes wrong, but the man who does nothing is always wrong."
"We believe we know who the women are and will conduct a full investigation," writes Sgt. Addison. "No arrests have been made at this time."
An official statement from the Vancouver Art Gallery confirms that two people vandalized the painting, which is part of the gallery's permanent collection.
"We do support the free expression of ideas, but not at the expense of suppressing the ideas and artistic expressions of others, or otherwise inhibiting people from access to those ideas." says Anthony Kiendl, Director and CEO of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The statement also adds that staff believe no permanent damage has been done to the artwork.