The Shard scaled by all-female protest group

A Greenpeace activist unveils a Save The Arctic flag on top of the Shard in London. Picture: PA
A Greenpeace activist unveils a Save The Arctic flag on top of the Shard in London. Picture: PA
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SIX Greenpeace activists have scaled one of London’s tallest buildings and unfurled a giant flag in protest at drilling in the Arctic.

The all-female group, who evaded security guards at the 72-storey Shard yesterday morning, said their climb was intended to put Shell and other oil companies in the spotlight.

They had hoped to create a huge artwork but ran out of time and had to make do with flying a 32ft by 32ft blue flag, with “Save the Arctic” written on it.

The activists reached the top of the building at around 7:10pm after 15 hours of climbing.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: “It is an honour to stand here at the foot of Europe’s highest building and witness this remarkable achievement by these women.

“And I’m not the only one watching this today – the executives of Shell, whose offices are all around this building, simply won’t be able to ignore what we have done. As a result of our action, 50,000 extra people have joined up to the campaign.”

Earlier, the building’s emergency response team closed “The View”, the platform on floors 68, 69 and 72, which provides a panorama of London from 800ft, in the interests of public safety.

Greenpeace said the protesters were “artists and activists”.

“They chose to climb the Shard because it towers over Shell’s three London offices,” a spokesman said during their ascent.

Metropolitan Police were at the site and the climbers live-streamed from helmet cameras.

One climber, Victoria Henry, 32, a Canadian living in Hackney, London, said yesterday morning: “It’s going to be really hard work, it’s going to be nerve-shredding for all of us and we may not succeed, but we’re going to do everything we can to pull it off.”

Asked about the Shard protest during his radio call-in show, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Of course what they are doing looks extraordinary on the telly, [but] I don’t actually support them doing something like that.

“I really do think that they could get their point across in a different way.”

The protesters were later arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass, a police spokesman said.