|Oil spill action at Natural History Museum, 3.2.07|
|Monday, 05 February 2007 16:00|
Climate activists splatter oil across photo exhibition in outrage at Shell
Activists deface Shell exhibition
The exhibition was closed for the rest of the day Environmental activists have defaced a photo exhibition sponsored by oil giant Shell at the Natural History Museum.
Protesters smeared oil-like liquid on the entries in a wildlife photography competition in the central hall of the west London museum.
Camp for Climate Action said their aim was to highlight Shell's "attempts to greenwash its reputation".
The museum said it was pleased to work with Shell saying the firm was taking environmental protection seriously.
The exhibition was closed for cleaning after Saturday's afternoon attack but was expected to re-open on Sunday.
Camp for Climate Action is calling on the museum to end its sponsorship arrangements with Shell.
"This is not an attack on the work of the photographers," said activist Dan Baker.
"Shell does not deserve to have its name associated with their beautiful images."
A museum spokesman said no permanent damage had been done to the photographs which are behind a protective glass.
She said: "We fully acknowledge working with an energy company raises difficult questions about the need to balance energy use with the conservation of our natural habitat.
"We are pleased to accept Shell's sponsorship because we believe that Shell is taking a reputable scientific approach to addressing the balance between energy needs and environmental protection.
"We believe that oil companies must be included in any meaningful dialogue about the energy issues facing us all."
Shell has so far made no comment.
OIL SPILL ACTION AT THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, 3.2.07
Climate activists splatter oil across photo exhibition in outrage at Shell greenwash tactics
Today at the Shell-sponsored Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum, 20 activists inspired by the Camp for Climate Action (1), smeared oil over the photographs. This was an act of outrage at Shell’s painfully transparent attempts to greenwash its reputation via cultural sponsorship.
Shell's sponsorship of the Natural History Museum is deeply ironic, since it devastates wildlife and the environment around the world through the extraction and production of ever more oil and gas.
Today's action comes hard on the heels of the release of Shell's 2006 financial figures, documenting the 13 billions of pounds made at the expense of people and the planet. Shell’s activities extracting oil result in major ecological and social impacts. Trading 3.6 million barrels of crude oil equivalent a day, the company is also a major contributor to climate change, which has been predicted to wipe out a quarter of all species on the planet by 2050, and to devastate the poorest regions of the planet (2). The extent of the threat was highlighted on Friday with the release of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change fourth report.
For all these reasons, the climate camp activists are calling on the Natural History Museum to end its oily sponsorship deal with Shell.
As the black oil-like liquid has been spread over the glass covering the photographs, the activists have not damaged the work itself. As Dan Baker said, "This is not an attack on the work of the photographers. Shell does not deserve to have its name associated with their beautiful images." A banner reading "Make Nature History Museum - sponsored by Shell" was also unfurled.
Activist Daisy Williams said, "This action sheds light on the ugly stain that covers this exhibition as a result of the Museum's collusion with Shell. We're here to make sure everyone knows about this despicable greenwash sponsorship deal. With more public pressure, we can kick Shell out of the Natural History Museum!"
For high resolution photos of today’s action, visit this image site:https://www.theimagefile.com/?
For interviews call: 07913 299 852
Notes for Editors
1 – The Camp for Climate Action was held outside Drax coal-fired power station in Selby last August 2006. This will be followed by another camp in 2007 14th-21st Aug, location to be announced. See www.climatecamp.org.uk– The Camp for Climate Action was held outside Drax coal-fired power station in Selby last August 2006. This will be followed by another camp in 2007 14th-21st Aug, location to be announced. See www.climatecamp.org.uk www.shellfacts.com, www.shelloiledwildlife.org.uk and www.artnotoil.org.uk/gallery/v/Shell