Bob Geldof has backed climate change protesters who doused Van Gogh’s Sunflowers with tomato soup, saying they were “1000% right” in their actions.

The 71-year-old musician said it was “sensible”. spoil the famous painting of 1888 while it was covered with a glass screen because people would only see the act as annoying – and “annoying is a very good thing”.

The masterpiece, which has an estimated value of £72.5 million, was hanging in the National Gallery when it was attacked by two women from the Just Stop Oil group earlier this month.

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Soup poured over a Van Gogh painting

The women, who also glued their hands to the wall with superglue, were charged with damage and disorderly conduct.

The National Gallery said there was “minor damage” to the painting’s frame, but the work was “undamaged” and is now back on display.

Geldof, a long-time climate campaigner and humanitarian campaigner, told the Radio Times: “Climate campaigners are 1000% right! And I support them 1000%.

“To destroy Van Gogh’s genius is a shame. It won’t do anything. But it was smart to throw it on the glass, knowing it wouldn’t be destroyed.

“It’s just annoying. And annoying is a very good thing.

“I was driving to Hyde Park when the Extinction Rebellion people blocked it and I was f****** furious.

“But I didn’t rail against them. I thought, ‘If I was 18, would I be there?’ and the answer is yes.

“Annoying people by forcing them to change policies may not work. Does that mean I’m against their passion? Their anger? Their courage? No.

“Would I put up with that? They’re not killing anybody. Climate change will happen.”

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Just Stop Oil spray Harrods and block the roads

The tomato soup toss is the latest in a series of actions by climate activists demanding the government halt all new oil and gas licenses and consents.

On Monday, Madame Tussauds had a wax model of King Charles III smeared with chocolate cakein what Just Stop Oil called their 24th day of civil unrest.

On Sunday, the group praised activists in Germany who threw mashed potatoes over Claude Monet’s “Clay” painting, which sold for $110 million in 2019.

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Mashed potatoes thrown at a Monet painting

Previous protests have included activists clinging to London’s famous Abbey Road intersection, scaling Queen Elizabeth II Bridge 200ft (60m) above Dartford Junction and spraying the Aston Martin showroom on London’s Park Lane orange paint.

In an interview with the Radio Times, Geldof also addressed the issue of some Western activists being called “white saviors” for their humanitarian work.

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Asked if he thought charities were trying too hard to stay away from such criticism, he said: “I don’t think most people worry about that.

“It’s just some kind of wormhole into which people have disappeared, where everything can be deconstructed. But this is banal and stupid, in my opinion.

“If someone is hurt and I personally see it and know about it, I will do everything I can to make it less painful for them… black saviors, white saviors, green saviors, brown saviors, I’m from the mall.”

The full text of the interview appears in the current issue of Radio Times.

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