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Another statue hit by Aus Day vandals

The statue is in St Kilda
A Captain Cook statue has been defaced in a Melbourne park. Picture: Today

A Queen Victoria statue has been drenched in red paint as vandals target colonial monuments across Melbourne ahead of Australia Day.

A statue of Captain Cook was also sawed down and defaced at Catani Gardens in St Kilda about 3.30am on Thursday.

The metal statue appears to have been cleanly sawn off from its stone base which was also been spray-painted in red with the words: “The colony will fall”.

Later in the morning, a large monument at Queen Victoria Gardens was discovered splashed with red paint.

Queen Victoria statue covered in red paint. Picture ABC.JPG
Queen Victoria statue covered in red paint. Picture: ABC
CAPTAIN COOK STATUE
The statue of Captain Cook in St Kilda has been cut down overnight. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling

Liberal MP Angus Taylor called the earlier incident an “egregious act of vandalism” and said it should be condemned.

“Captain Cook was a man of the enlightenment. Why would they do this to I think a great human being,” he said on Today.

“It’s another one of those acts that, frankly, uh, everyone should condemn.”

Port Phillip councillor Marcus Pearl described the incident as “disheartening” and called for the vandal to be “held to account for their actions.

Statue of Captain Cook defaced. Picture Today 3.JPG
A Captain Cook statue has been cut down and defaced. Picture: Today
Statue of Captain Cook defaced. Picture Today.JPG
The act has been condemned by local and federal politicians. Picture: Today

“This is not a solitary act of mischief,” he said.

“It’s a repeated pattern of disrespect, especially evident around Australia Day for the past six years. Such acts blatantly disregard our community’s hard-fought principles of debate and democratic expression.”

The same statue has been the target of multiple vandalism attempts in recent years.

Twice it has been drenched in bright coloured paint, both in 2018 and 2022.

CAPTAIN COOK STATUE
Cleaners spraying clean the memorial. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling

Mr Pearl urged people not to let this incident “fuel division” but instead drive “constructive, inclusive conversations”.

“Our community’s strength lies in its ability to engage in respectful and open discussions,” he said.

Members of the public first alerted police to the vandalism at 3.30am and an investigation is underway.

CAPTAIN COOK STATUE
The statue being removed from the scene. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling

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

Contrary to common belief, Captain James Cook has no direct links to the modern celebration of Australia Day on January 26, beyond the fact he was among the first British people to land on Australian shores.

January 26 commemorates the anniversary of the First Fleet landing at Sydney Cove and the Union Jack Flag being raised to signal the beginning of colonisation in 1788.

Anyone with any information about the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au