Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Captain Cook monument cut down by protesters ahead of Australia Day

Workers remove the remnants of a Captain Cook statue in Melbourne, after vandals cut the statue off at the ankles (Diego Fedele/AAP/AP)
Workers remove the remnants of a Captain Cook statue in Melbourne, after vandals cut the statue off at the ankles (Diego Fedele/AAP/AP)

Two monuments symbolising Australia’s colonial past were damaged by protesters ahead of an increasingly polarising national holiday that marks the anniversary of British settlement.

A statue in Melbourne of British naval officer James Cook, who in 1770 charted Sydney’s coast, was sawn off at the ankles on Thursday, while a monument of Queen Victoria in the city’s Queen Victoria Gardens was doused in red paint.

Images posted on social media showed the body of the Cook statue lying on the ground with the words “The colony will fall” spray-painted on its stone plinth.

Protesters covered the same statue with red paint in January 2022.

Australia Colonial Protests
A Queen Victoria monument in Melbourne doused with red paint (Diego Fedele/AAP Image via AP)

Australia Day, held each year on January 26, commemorates the anniversary of British settlement in 1788.

Argument rages in the country over how history should remember a fleet of 11 British ships, carrying a human cargo of convicts, arriving in present-day Sydney on January 26 1788.

For many Indigenous activists, Australia Day is known as Invasion Day as it marked the beginning of a sustained period of discrimination and dispossession of Indigenous peoples without the negotiation of a treaty.

The lack of such a treaty puts Australia out of step with comparable countries, including the US, Canada and New Zealand.

“We understand and acknowledge the complex and diverse views surrounding Australia Day,” said Heather Cunsolo, council mayor of Port Phillip where the statue is situated.

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

Captain Cook’s statue has been taken away and workers removed the feet from the plinth.

Victorian state premier Jacinta Allan said the government would support the local authorities to repair and reinstate the statue.

Police said they were investigating both incidents.

A referendum proposal to create an advocacy committee to offer advice to Parliament on policies that affect Indigenous people — the nation’s most disadvantaged ethnic minority — was resoundingly rejected by Australia’s voters in October last year.