The protesters demanded a meeting with the Spanish prime minister and requested funding for medical expenses for survivors of the historic food poisoning scandal.
Those who survived the massive food poisoning incident in 1981 occupied Madrid’s Del Prado Art Gallery, threatening to commit suicide if their requests for assistance and attention were not met.
A photo shows six people (one in a wheelchair) holding a banner in front of Las Meninas (Maid of Honor) by Spanish painter Diego Velazquez in the gallery on Tuesday. Others gathered outside.
In 1981, the Association of Victims of Adulterated Rapeseed Oil issued a statement on its Twitter account stating that “no more humiliation and abandonment”. The association hurt thousands of people across Spain.
“Six hours after we got here, we will start taking pills,” the We Are Alive Association warned, but did not give an exact time.
The organization requested a meeting with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez before the end of October and asked for funds to cover the medical expenses of the surviving victims.
The organization claims that this is one of the largest food poisoning scandals in the world. The incident caused at least 5,000 deaths and affected 20,000 people, most of whom suffer from incurable diseases.
‘We are sick’
The Spanish government or Prado did not immediately comment.
The protesters said they chose the museum because the culture helped the victims cope.
“We are sick. Physically speaking, we are 20 years older than stated on the ID card,” a woman said outside.
Substances affecting protesters and others were initially used for industrial purposes, but were adulterated and sold illegally as olive oil, mainly in street markets, starting in Madrid, and then spreading to other areas.
Symptoms range from lung failure and limb deformation to destruction of the body’s immune system.
Many survivors were disabled for life.
According to the Science Direct website, approximately 100,000 people have been exposed, 20,000 have developed clinical illnesses, and 10,000 of them have been hospitalized. According to Science Direct, more than 300 victims died.