Anti-BP activists in molasses protest at British Museum

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Protesters poured dark sticky liquid over the plinth of a statue in the British Museum on Tuesday to protest against its sponsorship by oil giant BP, the museum said.

The museum said the liquid was molassess and the 3,000-year-old Hoa Hakananai'a Easter Island statue of a human head and torso suffered no damage.

Protest group Culture Beyond Oil said it had chosen the object because it "represents the way in which civilisations once considered invincible can collapse in a short period of time".

The group said in a statement the five activists who took part, their faces covered by black veils, took care not to pour the substance on the sculpture.

The giant oil spill from a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico has led activists to step up their protests against the British company, and they have also targeted institutions the company supports.

The British Museum said BP was one of its "most longstanding corporate partners", having started its sponsorship in 1996.

BP was set Tuesday to test whether a new attempt to cap the well has succeeded in stemming the 13-week oil leak.

© 2010 AFP

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