Vandals fail to cut down Captain Cook statue in Sydney

Two were arrested after an attempt to damage the historic monument was thwarted by police.

Vandals fail to cut down Captain Cook statue in Sydney
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A historically significant statue of Captain Cook in Sydney’s Hyde Park narrowly escaped significant damage when two 27-year-olds attempted to sever the 145-year-old monument with an angle grinder in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Council staff reported the incident to police around 1am after observing a man and a woman, dressed entirely in black, purportedly trying to cut through the statue’s ankles.

The pair had allegedly constructed a rudimentary rope and pulley system attached to a nearby tree to reach the nearly five-metre-high statue.

One of the individuals was allegedly hoisted to the top of the statue and managed to cut halfway through Captain Cook’s right ankle before police intervened.

According to a police spokesperson, the two were arrested and charged with multiple offences, including malicious damage, possessing an article with intent to damage property, being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence, and wilfully damaging or defacing a protected place.

Both were denied bail and appeared before Parramatta local court on Sunday.

A City of Sydney spokesperson confirmed that an engineer assessed the statue to ensure it was structurally sound.

“The area has been made safe,” the spokesperson stated. “An engineer has attended the site and is confident the structural integrity has not been compromised. We will now have experts further assess and advise on repairs and cost.”

This incident follows a similar act of vandalism in January, where a Captain Cook statue in St Kilda, Melbourne, was sawn off at the ankles and graffitied with “the colony will fall."

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  • By Avi Yemini

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