Captain Cook statue hacked, paint on Victoria memorial

Captain Cook statue vandalised

Source: AAP

A Captain Cook memorial statue has been sawn off at the ankles and a statue of Queen Victoria doused in red paint in Melbourne on the day before Australia Day.

Police are investigating criminal damage to the Cook statue at St Kilda’s Jacka Boulevard reported about 3.30am on Thursday.

Several people were seen loitering in the area around the time of the incident, police said.

Photos posted on social media show the body of the statue fallen on the grass below with “The colony will fall” written in red spray paint on the stone plinth underneath where the statue usually stands.

Port Phillip Council Mayor Heather Cunsolo said she was disappointed it had been vandalised.

“We understand and acknowledge the complex and diverse views surrounding Australia Day,” she said on Thursday.

“We can’t condone, however, the vandalism of a public asset where costs will be ultimately borne by ratepayers.”

The Cook statue has been taken away and workers sent to remove the feet from the plinth.

Cunsolo said the council had arranged for security at the monument as a precaution from Thursday afternoon.

The same statue was doused with red paint by protesters in January 2022 as an “invasion day” statement.

A second statue was also found vandalised early on Thursday.

The Queen Victoria memorial at Queen Victoria Gardens near the city was covered in red paint and graffiti.

Victoria’s political leaders condemned the vandalism. Premier Jacinta Allan pledged to repair and return the Captain Cook statue.

“This sort of vandalism really has no place in our community,” she said.

“I want to signal today that we will be working with council to repair and reinstate the statue in St Kilda that has been vandalised overnight.”

Opposition Leader John Pesutto said blamed “ratbag protesters” for the vandalism, which he said was “totally unacceptable”.

“There’s no place for acts of vandalism or any other violent acts against people or property in our community,” he said.

“We support the right of people to protest and demonstrate but it must always be done in a peaceful and respectful way.”

– with AAP

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