Warhol work sprayed in climate protest

Climate protesters have attempted to deface one of the National Gallery of Australia's prized modern art pieces, Andy Warhol's Campbell's soup cans.

An image sent to AAP showed blue scribble across five of the 10 paintings in the series.

The paintings themselves were under glass frames and not damaged, going back on public display after cleaning on Wednesday afternoon.

The Stop Fossil Fuel Subsidies group said in a statement on Wednesday it wants the Australian government to end support for the oil, gas and coal industries.

It said it was part of a global civil resistance network known as A22.

Bonnie Cassen, who was named in the statement as being involved in the protest, said Warhol depicted consumerism gone mad in the iconic series.

"And now we have capitalism gone mad," she said.

"Families are having to choose between medicine and food for their children while fossil fuel companies return record profits. And yet our government gives $22,000 a minute in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry."

One person sought to glue themselves to one of the paintings but was quickly removed before the glue set.

The gallery said in a statement: "A protest has taken place at the National Gallery of Australia following similar incidents elsewhere in Australia and overseas."

"The national gallery does not wish to promote these actions and has no further comment."

An ACT Policing spokesman said officers responded to an incident involving two people at the gallery, but no arrests had been made.