Two women have been charged after a statue of Captain Cook was vandalised in Sydney’s Hyde Park in the early hours of this morning.
Police were called to the park in Sydney’s CBD around 4am today after being alerted to the graffiti.
They found the two women, aged 27 and 28, nearby on College Street allegedly carrying a bag containing a number of spray cans.
The pair were taken to Day Street Police Station, where they have now been charged with damaging property and possessing graffiti implements with intent.
They have both been refused bail and are expected to appear at Parramatta Bail Court today.
Police say they will continue to proactively patrol the area against vandals.
It is the latest in a series of attacks on statues of public figures amid ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations around Australia and across the world.
The bust stands were also daubed with offensive symbols and the words “pig” and “homophobe”.
Statues of historical figures with links to slavery have been pulled down in several cities overseas.
In the UK, where Black Lives Matters demonstrations have turned violent, statues of divisive wartime prime minister Winston Churchill have been defaced and a statue of slave trader Edward Colston has been thrown into a river.
In Australia, calls have been growing for monuments to Captain James Cook – a symbol of Australian colonialism – to be removed.