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Jail Time, Fines for Vandals Who Attack Historic Monuments

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GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty
SIMON KENT

Vandals caught defacing historic monuments will face jail time and hefty fines if convicted, under tough new laws being introduced by the Australian government.

Century-old statues of explorer Captain James Cook will be amongst the first items placed on the National Heritage List and automatically protected by law under the scheme. Several monuments and statues of Captain Cook, the first European to fully explore and chart Australia’s east coast, were attacked around Australia last month, as Breitbart London reported.

At the time, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the vandalism – sparked by the high-profile removal of Confederate statues and desecration of memorials to historic figures in the United States – was similar to Soviet times.

“This is what Stalin did,” he said on Facebook.

 “When he fell out with his henchmen he didn’t just execute them, they were removed from all official photographs – they became non-persons, banished not just from life’s mortal coil but from memory and history itself.”

Now Mr. Turnbull wants to ensure there are tough penalties for anyone caught repeating the acts. He told the Sydney Sunday Telegraph the Australian government would “not stand by and allow vandals to rewrite or tear down our history.”

“We should be proud of our nation’s remarkable Australian story, not embarrassed by it; we should embrace it, not obliterate it,” Mr. Turnbull said. “Australian history contains many painful chapters — particularly for indigenous Australians — but a free society debates its past, it does not deny it. It builds new monuments as it preserves old ones.”

While Captain Cook is being protected in Australia, in his homeland the heroes of past exploration and naval battle are not faring so well.

As Breitbart London reported,  the left wing Guardian published an article in August arguing that the statue of Battle of Trafalgar naval hero Horatio Nelson should be removed from his plinth in Trafalgar Square, London.

Traditionally regarded as one of the greatest heroes of the British people, broadcaster Afua Hirsch dismissed the Admiral as “what you would now call, without hesitation, a white supremacist”.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com

 

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