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Climate activists outside the British Museum. Photo: BP or not BP?
Climate activists outside the British Museum. Photo: BP or not BP?

Climate Activists Stage British Museum Protest with Trojan Horse

Dressed as ancient Greek warriors, climate activists installed a thirteen-foot Trojan horse emblazoned with the British Petroleum (BP) logo in the courtyard of the British Museum in London this morning to criticize the institution’s sponsorship deal with the oil giant, reports The Guardian. Referencing the museum’s current BP-funded exhibition “Troy: Myth and Reality” and the Greek myth of the siege of Troy, the action is a continuation of the activists’ protests against oil sponsorship for the arts. 

“The Troy exhibition has inspired us to create this magnificent beast, because the Trojan horse is the perfect metaphor for BP sponsorship,” Helen Glynn, an activist with BP or not BP?, told The Guardian. “On its surface the sponsorship looks like a generous gift, but inside lurks death and destruction.”

Protesters have requested the horse remain stationed outside until Saturday, in time for a larger demonstration organized in collaboration with indigenous community members. More than one thousand people are expected to participate in the action.

In a letter to the museum, the activists wrote: “Hundreds of people have helped to crowdfund this horse because they feel so strongly that the museum should not be promoting and giving legitimacy to an oil company when we are in the midst of a climate emergency. The museum has previously said that it will facilitate peaceful protest and we want to work with you to make sure that our interactive artwork enhances tomorrow’s event.”

British Museum director, Hartwig Fischer, confirmed the institution would continue to accept money from BP last July. Last year, both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Galleries of Scotland severed ties with BP, citing the current climate emergency.