Melbourne: Captain Cook’s Cottage vandalised again with anti-Australia Day message

26th Jan Australia's Shame

24 January, ABC: The historic Cooks’ Cottage, on the outskirts of Melbourne’s CBD, has been graffitied with anti-Australia Day slogans again.

The building in the Fitzroy Gardens was vandalised overnight, with slogans including “26th January, Australia’s shame” and another containing profanity.

Vandals sprayed fluorescent-coloured paint across the historic cottage and smashed a window in.

Police believe light globes filled with paint were also used to vandalise the second storey of the cottage.

It is the third time the building has been vandalised in a year; it was sprayed twice in the days after Australia Day last year.

Detective Senior Constable Gray says it is unclear if the incidents are linked.

Detective Senior Constable Scott Gray says police are reviewing security footage from the area. “It does indicate that at least two people have been involved in this,” he said. “They seem to know where the cameras are placed around the gardens but there is some footage that has been captured.”

“Coming so close to Australia Day in Victoria and Australia, it’s quite disturbing that people can do this,” he said.

The cottage was originally built in 1755 in Yorkshire, England by Captain James Cook’s parents. In 1933, philanthropist Sir Russell Grimwade bought the cottage as a centenary gift for Melburnians. It was dismantled brick-by-brick and transported to the Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, where it has remained for almost 80 years.

More media coverage:

The Australian: The vandals who trashed Captain Cook’s cottage knew where security cameras were and how to avoid them, police say.

The historic building was sprayed with anti-Australia Day graffiti for the second year in a row early Friday morning, with slogans reading “26th Jan Australia’s shame” and “F*** Australia Day”. Police also found shards of glass and smashed light bulbs littered around the cottage that they believe were used as makeshift paint bombs.

Victoria Police Detective Senior Constable Scott Gray said at least two people were involved according to the CCTV footage. “And they seem to know where the cameras are placed around the gardens,” Det Snr Const Gray said on Friday.

Police have not linked the graffiti to similar attacks on the cottage in February last year. Anarchist blog “disaccords” claimed responsibility for the 2013 graffiti, saying in an online statement the denial of Australia’s “brutal” history was nowhere more evident than on Australia Day. “This is why we trashed the absurd shrine to genocide, Captain Cook’s Cottage, with paint,” the bloggers wrote last year.

The Guardian: Captain Cook’s cottage in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens was vandalised on Thursday night, with the words “26th Jan Australia’s shame” spraypainted across the building’s facade.

A spokeswoman for City of Melbourne, Bronwyn Perry, confirmed the vandalism of Cook’s Cottage was found on Friday morning and said police are on site investigating.

“Police are looking at the moment to see what’s been broken … or if anything was stolen,” she said.

Victoria Police told Guardian Australia it received a call at 7:45am, but the extent of damage was not yet known.

Pictures of the graffiti show the spraypaint stretching around at least two outside walls and onto a window.

The home of Captain James Cook was built in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, England in 1755. It was bought in 1933 by an Australian businessman for £800 and in 1934 was taken apart, brick by brick, and transported to Australia, along with cuttings of ivy from the garden. The house was rebuilt in Fitzroy Gardens to commemorate the settlement of Melbourne and today is a tourist attraction.

Cook’s cottage was also vandalised last year, first in January with paint and again in February with the words “Cappy Cook was a crook killer liar theif” (sic) graffitied on the building. Responsibility for the act was claimed by Melbourne anarchists.

“The creation myth of Australian society is that rather than looting, murdering, and displacing the original inhabitants, the Europeans were bringing a higher order of civilisation, economic organisation and religion to savage lands,” read their statement.

“The denial of this brutal and revolting history is nowhere more evident than on the 25th of January (sic), the celebration of Australia Day – the date of invasion. This is why we trashed the absurd shrine to genocide, Captain Cooks Cottage, with paint.”

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2 thoughts on “Melbourne: Captain Cook’s Cottage vandalised again with anti-Australia Day message”

  1. I’m not from an Indigenous background, but I was born and raised in Australia and I never even knew that Australia Day was really the day that Captain Cook had invaded Australia. I guess they didn’t teach that in school otherwise I would’ve remembered!
    Today my boyfriend (who is of Middle-Eastern background like me), mentioned how there is absolutely nothing to celebrate on Australia Day and he told me about how it’s the day that Captain Cook had invaded this land, etc. I was shocked when he told me because I didn’t know. I could tell that he was really pissed off about the treatment that indigenous people get from Australians. As if extra payment from the government is going to fix the past? It’s absolutely ridiculous! I recall a time when I was 12 and I was with my brothers, we were waiting at Maccas and there was an Aboriginal family next to us in line, we were counting our money and it was short, the dad of that family gave us a $10 note and told us to buy whatever we want. At first, I declined but he kept insisting to take it and get food for my brothers. I will never forget that day because I have never been treated with such kindness and respect from any other nationality. People are very quick to judge. It’s like my eyes have been opened. I want to support Indigenous Australian causes but I’m not sure where to begin.. Any help?

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