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Pro-Palestinian activist destroys painting at University of Cambridge

  • Activist spray-painted and slashed 1914 painting of former prime minister
  • Balfour supported giving Palestinian land to the Jew people
  • Protesters: The land was not Balfour’s to give away

Updated:

Pro-Palestinian activist destroys painting at University of Cambridge

Palestine Action ruined a 1914 painting by Philip Alexius de László inside Trinity College, University of Cambridge of Lord Arthur James Balfour – the colonial administrator and signatory of the Balfour Declaration. (Credit: Palestine Action)

(NewsNation) — A pro-Palestinian activist with Palestine Action, a protest network based in the U.K., vandalized and slashed a 1914 painting of Lord Arthur James Balfour inside Trinity College at the University of Cambridge on Friday.

The painting by Philip Alexius de László depicts a portrait of the former prime minister who was the colonial administrator and signatory of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which was a statement of support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.

The protester sprayed the painting with red paint before slicing it with a sharp object, ultimately destroying the artwork. The Palestine Action said the red paint was used to symbolize “the bloodshed of the Palestinian people since the Balfour Declaration.”

“Written in 1917, Balfour’s declaration began the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by promising the land away — which the British never had the right to do,” the group wrote on social media.

The group claims Balfour did not have the authority to give the Palestinian land away, saying it wasn’t his to give.

“Trinity College regrets the damage caused to a portrait of Arthur James Balfour during public opening hours. The police have been informed. Support is available for any member of the College community affected,” Trinity College said in a statement to Daily Mail.

A Cambridgeshire Constabulary spokesperson said, “This afternoon, we received an online report of criminal damage today to a painting at Trinity College, Cambridge. Officers are attending the scene to secure evidence and progress the investigation. No arrests have been made at this stage.”