Queen Victoria statue doused in red paint after King Charles’ coronation

Queen Victoria statue doused in red paint after King Charles’ coronation

May 8, 2023

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Vandals have thrown red paint on a Melbourne statue of Queen Victoria following King Charles’ coronation at the weekend.

The statue in Queen Victoria Gardens on St Kilda Road was smeared with bright red paint and bloodied handprints marked the monarch’s chest.

A statue of Queen Victoria was defaced following King Charles’ coronation.Credit: Penny Stephens

By Monday morning, much of the vandalism on the monument’s bottom tier had been cleaned, but the paint splatters on the top of the statue remained.

Charles and his wife Camilla were crowned amid pomp and pageantry at London’s Westminster Abbey on Saturday, marking Britain’s biggest ceremonial event in 70 years.

Victoria Police said they were aware that the statue near the Melbourne CBD had been defaced and were investigating.

“The incident has yet to be formally reported,” a spokeswoman said. “Police are making enquiries into the circumstances of the incident.”

The statue was dedicated to the monarch in 1907 after it was funded by the public. It depicts four different moments of her life, according to Monument Australia.

Speaking about the incident at a press conference, Victorian minister Danny Pearson said the defacing of an antique statue is “probably not what you’d like to see on a Monday morning”.

“I’m not sure juvenile pranks like this are really what’s called for,” he said.

“I’m a republican, I’ve always supported an Australian head of state, but I recognise the history of our state. We are named after her.”

The vandalism of the Queen Victoria monument near Melbourne’s CBD is not the first time a statue has been paint-bombed in the city in recent memory.

A statue of Captain James Cook in St Kilda’s Catani Gardens has repeatedly been the target of vandals. Ahead of January 26 last year, the monument was covered in red paint, and its base was papered with flyers proposing the abolition of Australia Day celebrations.

In 2018, pink paint was dumped on Captain Cook’s head, with the words “no pride” painted beneath his feet along with the Aboriginal flag. A bluestone monument near Melbourne Zoo marking Burke and Wills’ journey to Australia’s interior was also splattered with green paint in the same week.

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