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The Associated Press June 22, 2010, 2:15PM ET

Eco protesters target BP portrait prize ceremony

Environmental protesters have targeted the BP Portrait Award, one of the oil company's major arts sponsorships in Britain.

A small group of demonstrators sporting white coveralls and surgical face masks gathered outside London's National Portrait Gallery, where the 25,000 pound ($37,000) arts prize was being handed out Tuesday.

BP PLC has sponsored the prize for 21 years, but faces criticism over the huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Protesters are calling for arts bodies to stop taking money from BP because of the environmental and economic devastation it has caused.

Musicians including Lady Gaga and the band Korn have said they will not use BP fuel on their tours.

BP says it remains committed to its arts sponsorships, despite the spiraling cost of the Gulf disaster.

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