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Activists Occupy Tate Britain for Tattoo Protest Against BP

Emma Howard reports in the Guardian that climate change activists staged a protest against British Petroleum in the Tate Britain over the weekend where they occupied a gallery featuring works from the 1840s and set up a station to tattoo each other with the numbers of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere in the year each of them was born. This comes after several other recent protests in London decrying BP’s sponsorship of U.K. arts institutions.

Tate closed the 1840s gallery where thirty-five activists set up their operation. A spokesperson for the group Liberate Tate, which led the action and also occupied the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall last June, said: “This makes a statement about the stain that oil has across society, on Tate, on the negotiations and across our culture, society and economics more broadly. The black mark on our skin reflects the taint of BP on Tate.” This particular gallery was chosen by the protestors to occupy because it displays many paintings from the industrial revolution era, when the burning of fossil fuels began in the west on a large-scale. Their protest was also staged to anticipate the UN climate change talks, which opened in Paris on Monday.