Bob Geldolf says Just Stop Oil activists who threw soup on Van Gogh are ‘clever’

Bob Geldof has said the Just Stop Oil protesters who threw soup over Van Gogh’s Sunflowers were “1,000% right”.

The Irish musician, 71, said it had been “clever” to deface the 1888 painting while it was covered by a glass screen, because people would only view the act as annoying and, “annoying is quite good”.

Two women from the Just Stop Oil group have been charged in relation to the incident at the National Gallery earlier this month, which took place amid wider protests organised by Extinction Rebellion.

Geldof, a long-standing climate and humanitarian campaigner, told Radio Times: “The climate activists are 1,000% right! And 1,000% I support them.

“It’s offensive to destroy Van Gogh’s genius. That achieves nothing. But it was clever to throw it on the glass knowing it wouldn’t be destroyed.

“That’s just annoying. And annoying is quite good.

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

“But I wasn’t railing against them. I was thinking, ‘If I was 18, would I be there?’ and the answer is yes.

“Annoying people into policy change may not work. Does that mean I’m against their passion? Their anger? Their bravery? No.

“Would I put up with it? They’re not killing anyone. Climate change will.”

The Boomtown Rats frontman also addressed the issue of some Western activists being labelled as “white saviours” for their humanitarian work.

Asked whether he feels charities try too hard to steer clear of such criticism, he replied: “I don’t think most people give a f*** about that.

“It’s just a wormhole that people have disappeared down, where everything can be deconstructed. But it’s trite and silly, in my view.

“If someone is hurt and I personally see it, and I’m aware of it, I’ll do what I can to make them less hurt… black saviours, white saviours, green saviours, brown saviours, I’m with them all.”

Read the full interview in Radio Times, out now.