Animal rights activists target King Charles portrait in protest against farm welfare standards

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Animal rights activists targeted the first official portrait of King Charles on Tuesday since his ascension to the throne, in a protest against farm welfare standards.
Members of the group Animal Rising pasted a large image of Wallace, the famous character from the animated comedy “Wallace and Gromit,” over the king’s face at the Philip Mould gallery at around mid-day in London.They also added a speech bubble to the cartoon figure, reading: “No cheese, Gromit. Look at all this cruelty on RSPCA farms!”
Animal Rising released footage showing two of its supporters carrying out the act, which they said aimed to highlight cruelty on farms that have received the RSPCA’s “Assured” status, indicating higher welfare standards. King Charles is the patron of the RSPCA, an animal charity.

The RSPCA expressed strong disapproval of the protest. “We are shocked by this vandalism of His Majesty the King’s portrait. While we welcome scrutiny of our work, we cannot condone illegal activity of any kind,” a spokesperson said, adding that the charity takes allegations about its certified farms very seriously.
This incident is the latest in a series of activist attacks on artwork in the UK. Last month, climate protesters attempted to damage an original Magna Carta at the British Library, and in October, they threw soup over Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” at the National Gallery in London.
Daniel Juniper, one of the activists involved in the portrait protest, explained on the group’s website that their choice of Wallace was deliberate, as King Charles is known to be a fan of “Wallace and Gromit”. Juniper expressed hope that the protest would prompt the king to reconsider his association with the RSPCA, given the alleged suffering on its certified farms.
Animal Rising assured that their posters were designed to be easily removable and would not damage the painting by artist Jonathan Yeo. The portrait itself, which features a vibrant red background, received mixed reviews upon its unveiling last month.
(With inputs from agencies)

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