Australian city council calls for prime minister statue to be removed over mutilation of Aboriginal man

Hobart City Council in the Australian island nation of Tasmania has proposed removing the statue of William Crowther in the city’s Franklin Square, with the partial removal and interpretation project costing a total of $20,000.

Crowther was a surgeon and naturalist, and the first practitioner to serve as Prime Minister of Tasmania. However, in March 1869 he was suspended from his role as Honorary Physician after the Aboriginal Tasmanian William William removed his orchid skull and sent it to the Royal College of Surgeons in London.

According to a new council report to be voted on Thursday, the council will spend $20,000 to move the statue to storage and $50,000 on “on-site interpretive elements.”

A “controversial piece” of history

Moreover website, the Hobart City Council Committee cited reasons for the statue’s removal. “

“The City of Hobart felt it was the right time to explore this controversial part of the city’s history,” the council said.

In 2021, an Aboriginal artist painted the statue’s head and hands red to represent Krauser’s amputation of Runne after the death of an Aboriginal man.

The chairman of the committee, Zelinda Sherlock, told Mercury that the project had the support of all elected members and responded to the sentiments of the “majority of Hobartians”.

“Most of the comments the project received indicated that the community wanted something practical about the statue,” Sherlock said.

However, council member Simon Belakis opposed the plan, saying it would waste the council’s time and resources, criticizing it as “more concerned with signaling virtue than providing service.” rice field.

“The City of Hobart’s consideration of paying tens of thousands of dollars to remove the statue in Franklin Square, months after the election, is a sign of the council’s out-of-the-box attitude and wake-up call. Rather than addressing the issues that actually affect Hobertian life.” Said Aug. 1.

“This warrants a particularly cynical response just a few weeks before the Council’s Electoral Officials Regulations begin.

“There are a number of issues that the community has shown the council is lagging behind in its provision, mainly planning and housing, parking and congestion.”

Historian Reg Watson, on the other hand, was concerned that this would set a precedent for the removal of statues of historical figures.

“For me, politics comes into play here. The statue must be left alone, and my fear is, what is the next statue?” he said. ABC 2021 years.

“In the future, we could put an appropriate interpretation plaque next to the statue and tell a sad story, but attacking the statue is the American way.”

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Please contact her at [email protected]