Stonehenge Targeted by Climate Activists with Orange Paint

Two individuals are under investigation after spraying Stonehenge with orange powder paint

Climate activists have coated parts of Britain’s most famous prehistoric site, Stonehenge, with orange powder paint in the latest act designed to call attention to their cause.

The activists, who were apprehended shortly after the incident, have been released on bail pending further inquiries, Wiltshire Police said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, British group Just Stop Oil released footage showing two members using fire extinguishers to spray the orange substance onto at least three of the stones at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, some parts of which are estimated to be around 5,000 years old. Visitors were seen engaging with the campaigners, identified by the group as Rajan Naidu, 73, and Niamh Lynch, 21, as they prepared to target the monument.

The act of vandalism occurred the day before thousands of spectators gathered at the stone circle to celebrate the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

According to the group, the action was taken to urge the next UK government to halt the extraction and burning of oil, gas, and coal by 2030. Just Stop Oil also stated that the orange powder paint was corn flour, adding that it would “wash away with rain.”

On Thursday, English Heritage chief executive Dr. Nick Merriman told CNN there appeared to be “no visible damage” to the prehistoric landmark after experts cleaned the site following the attack.

Responding to the incident on X (formerly Twitter), British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the move, saying that “Just Stop Oil are a disgrace.”

Stonehenge is the latest prominent target for activists. Last month, protesters from the same group smashed the glass protecting the Magna Carta, a renowned British manuscript from the 13th century, at the British Museum in London. Earlier this month, Animal Rising group placed a cartoon image over a portrait of Britain’s King Charles III at a London gallery.

Last year, Just Stop Oil activists threw tomato soup on Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’, while two others attached themselves with glue to ‘Peach Trees in Blossom’ at the Courtauld Gallery in London, permanently harming the artwork.