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Activists spray graffiti on Capt. Cook's house

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:13 p.m. HST, Jan 24, 2014

MELBOURNE, Australia >> Activists have sprayed graffiti on the historic home of the 18th century British explorer Capt. James Cook to protest against Australia's national day.

The stone walls of the two-story building known as Cook's Cottage in Melbourne were painted Thursday night with slogans such as "26th Jan Australia's shame."

Jan. 26 is Australia Day and commemorates British settlement of Sydney in 1788 as a penal colony. Opponents call it "Invasion Day," and regard it as a shameful reminder that Australian land was taken from Aborigines by British colonists without a treaty.

The cottage was originally built in 1755 in the village of Great Ayton in Yorkshire, England, by the parents of the acclaimed seafarer. Cook was a Royal Navy lieutenant in 1770 when he commanded the first European ship to discover the site of Sydney.

The family cottage was dismantled and relocated in 1934 to Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, where it has become a museum and popular tourist attraction. The Melbourne city council describes it as Australia's oldest building.

City workers began cleaning off the paint on Friday, and police were investigating.

Detective Senior Constable Scott Gray said it was the third graffiti attack on the building since Australia Day last year. He did not know if the attacks were linked.

"Coming so close to Australia Day ... it's quite disturbing that people can do this," Gray told reporters.

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SteveToo wrote:
Every inhabited portion of this planet has been invaded and taken over by someone sometime in the past 100,000 years or so. It's the "human" way.
on January 24,2014 | 07:01PM
hikine wrote:
humans weren't here 100,000 years ago. Still it's sad when people deface something.
on January 25,2014 | 12:00AM
Holomua wrote:
Should we send Hawaiian activists down there after they clean it up?
on January 24,2014 | 08:24PM
tutulois wrote:
The fact that they can write graffiti -- that comes from the contact with the Western world, which brought a written language.
on January 25,2014 | 06:23AM
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