Woke Melbourne council plans to dismantle Captain Cook's cottage

Historic tourist attraction faces closure amid cancel culture debate.

Woke Melbourne council plans to dismantle Captain Cook's cottage
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One of Melbourne's well-known tourist attractions facing potential closure if woke Melbourne's councillors get their way.

Cooks' Cottage, located in Fitzroy Garden, is on the brink of being deemed irrelevant in contemporary Australia.

Originally built by the parents of famed British explorer Captain James Cook in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, in 1755, this piece of history was transferred to Australia in 1934.

The cottage, adorned with 18th-century furniture and novelties, presents a glimpse into life in the 1700s. However, it's precisely this colonial heritage that's suddenly now under scrutiny.

Visitor numbers have been dwindling, a trend exacerbated by the Covid-related lockdowns.

Reports have revealed that the city council is reevaluating the viability of maintaining the cottage as an attraction. Negative reviews and vandalism, mainly due to the attraction's colonial roots, have raised questions about the cottage's place in today's Australia.

A decision from the Town Hall is expected in the coming months.

A spokesperson for the Melbourne City Council assured that, "No decision has been made to close Cooks’ Cottage".

Despite Captain Cook never residing in the house, it was considered significant enough to Australian history that philanthropist Sir Russell Grimwade bought the English cottage, costing around $80,000 in today's value, as a gift to commemorate a century since English settlement.

Fred Grimwade, a descendant of Sir Grimwade, declared that while they no longer have any ties to the attraction, he and his wife support maintaining the cottage in a way that aligns with modern social attitudes but also respects history.

The house has been a focal point for anti-colonial sentiment, being defaced several times since 2013, in the lead up to Australia Day, with graffiti condemning Captain Cook and the treatment of indigenous peoples.

Online reviews by activists have echoed the vandal's sentiments, with some slamming the entry fee while others have demanded that indigenous voices be heard in the narrative of the site.

"As an indigenous First Nations person I feel oppressed by this space," one visitor commented, calling for a more nuanced representation of the horrors inflicted on Indigenous Australians.

Others questioned the value of the $7 entry fee in comparison to other historically significant locations in the vicinity.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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