The infamous and controversial statue that many likened to a Nazi-like pose has been removed after it had gained much attention post-2020 when the Black Lives Matter movement began the removal of many colonial figures worldwide.
The prominent figure that stood in Sheridan St in Cairns Queensland was craned away by demolition contractor Martin Anton after reports claim he bought the statue for the measly price of just $1
The removal came about primarily due to the construction of a hospital after a deal was struck with the James Cook University.
Some however attribute the removal of the statue to the actions of Indigenous artist Emma Hollingsworth after she petitioned to have the statue removed as she claimed it was ‘a slap in the face to all indigenous people’
Over 19,000 signatures were obtained as petitioners believed it was a representation of dispossession, forced removal, genocide, slavery, stolen land, and loss of culture – among other things.
But for many, the statue was a representation of history and something to be preserved. Warren Entsch, the Member for Leichhardt, ridiculed the removal and told Channel 7 ‘Let’s get rid of the pyramids and all this other stuff. That’s the same sort of nonsense that we’re talking about here’
A decent size crowd of older-aged locals gathered to watch the removal with some mixed emotions as many had experienced personal attachments to the statue over the 50 years.
It is believed Anton will house the state in a nearby facility in Atherton Tablelands where he then will decide what to do with it.