Posted on January 24, 2014

Captain Cook’s Cottage Vandalised with Graffiti Referencing Australia Day

Helen Davidson, Guardian (London), January 23, 2014

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.”