Radical climate activists who vandalized a famous piece of art have now been charged by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for their actions, and the department has also revealed that the Washington Post was tipped off about the plan ahead of time to allow them to photograph the criminal offense.
On Friday, the DOJ announced that Joanna Smith and Timothy Martin had been charged with conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and with injury to a National Gallery of Art exhibit.
The charges come from an incident in which the two radical climate activists vandalized a case holding “Little Dancer, Age Fourteen” by Edgar Degas. During the April 27 incident, Smith and Martin smeared paint on the sculpture’s case — and they are now facing up to five years in prison for each charge against them.
In response to the vandalism, the sculpture was removed from its display for ten days to be repaired — which cost roughly $2,400, according to the DOJ. The famous work of art includes human hair, silk and ribbons that are more than 100 years old.
In their announcement, the DOJ also noted that the Washington Post — which was not named in the indictment — had received advanced warning about the vandalism, allowing them to be on the scene to capture it on video.
“Members of the conspiracy had alerted the Washington Post, and two reporters from the Post recorded and photographed the offense,” the DOJ said in the Friday press release announcing the charges against Martin and Smith. “Additionally, other members of the conspiracy filmed and photographed the offense.”
US Attorney in D.C. filed felony conspiracy charges against 2 delusional climate protesters involved in damaging the "Little Dancer" at National Gallery if Art.
The pair were arrested, jailed, and face a minimum of 5 years in prison.
They should plead guilty. If you do the… pic.twitter.com/NbhyQtcID8
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) May 27, 2023
Martin and Smith are members of a radical climate activist group that calls themselves “Declare Emergency,” which has previously held disruptive protests at the 2022 congressional baseball game and has blocked traffic on roads in the Washington, D.C. area in an attempt to demand that President Joe Biden end fossil fuels and declare a climate emergency.
The vandalism of the sculpture follows a recent trend of climate activists vandalizing famous works of art that have absolutely nothing to do with climate change as part of a bizarre strategy to get attention. The strategy appears to work as videos of these incidents have gone viral over the past few years, and the radical climate groups continue to receive significant funding from prominent individuals.
According to the Daily Caller, “Declare Emergency is part of the A22 Network, a coalition of activist groups primarily bankrolled by the Climate Emergency Fund, which boasts numerous celebrity donors including Aileen Getty of the Getty oil family and comedian Chelsea Handler.”