King Charles III portrait is vandalized by animal rights activists, video shows

Jun 11, 2024 | Latest News | 0 comments

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A pair of animal rights activists has been caught on video vandalizing a portrait of King Charles III at a London art gallery by pasting a picture of the character Wallace from the “Wallace and Gromit” series over his face. 

The incident, described by Animal Rising as a “comic redecoration,” was designed to highlight an investigation that the group said found widespread violation of animal husbandry rules at farms approved by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 

“Just as Feathers McGraw fooled Wallace into a bank heist, the RSPCA has been fooling the British public into thinking their factory farms are – in any way – an acceptable place for animals to live,” Animal Rising spokesperson Orla Coghlan said in a statement. “It’s clear from the scenes across 45 RSPCA Assured farms that there’s no kind way to farm animals. 

“The RSPCA needs to take a bolder stance on the transition to a plant-based food system, beginning with calls for drastic meat reduction,” she added. “The charity can, once again, lead the way for animals in the UK, rather than keeping them in misery.” 

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A speech bubble pasted next to the head of Wallace read: “No cheese, Gromit. Look at all this cruelty on RSPCA farms!” 

But the painting is protected by a sheet of plastic and wasn’t damaged, according to the Philip Mould Gallery, where it is on display. 

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“The protesters were asked by staff to leave following the incident, which they did,” Metropolitan Police later said, according to Sky News. “The gallery did not wish to report a crime and as such there is no further action by police.” 

The King Charles III painting by Jonathan Yeo was unveiled last month and is the first portrait of Charles to be completed since he ascended the throne in 2022. It captures the king in shades of red with his hands clasped atop the hilt of his sword and a butterfly flitting above his right shoulder. 

Animal Rising said its investigation into 45 farms across the U.K. found scenes of “dead and dying baby chickens, dead pigs left in farm walkways, and salmon being eaten alive by sea lice.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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