King Charles’ portrait vandalized by animal rights activists

Animal rights activists on Tuesday targeted the first official portrait of Britain’s King Charles since he became monarch, pasting a large image of the well-known animated character ‘Wallace’ over his face, in a protest about welfare on farms.

Footage from campaign group Animal Rising showed two of its supporters approach the portrait in London’s Philip Mould gallery, and overlay the king’s face with a big cartoon image of Wallace from the “Wallace and Gromit” animated comedy franchise.

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The attack is the latest by activists on artwork in Britain. Climate protesters attempted to smash the case holding an original Magna Carta text in the British Library last month, and threw soup over Vincent van Gogh’s painting “Sunflowers” at London’s National Gallery in October.

Daniel Juniper, one of the two activists involved, said in a statement on the group’s website: “With King Charles being such a big fan of Wallace and Gromit, we couldn’t think of a better way to draw his attention to the horrific scenes on RSPCA Assured farms.”

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He hoped Charles would “seriously reconsider if he wants to be associated with the awful suffering across farms being endorsed by the RSPCA.”

Buckingham Palace said it had no comment. Animal Rising said its posters would be easily removable without causing damage to the painting.

The portrait of Charles, by artist Jonathan Yeo, received a mixed reception after its unveiling last month, with some criticising its vibrant red colour.

–Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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