(Reuters) Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday that calls to replace or modify statues of English colonialists, including explorer Captain James Cook, were tantamount to a “Stalinist” rewrite of history.
Pressure has grown in the wake of the furor over Confederate monuments in the United States to reconsider statues in Australia that some deem offensive to the country’s indigenous people.
Sydney, Australia’s largest city, is deciding whether to alter a monument erected in Hyde Park, 1879, to commemorate Cook, who charted Australia’s east coast for the first time.
Advertisement - story continues below
At issue is the engraving on the base of the statue, which says “Discovered this territory, 1770”. Aboriginal people had lived on the continent for an estimated 60,000 years before Cook dropped anchor in Botany Bay.