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Martin Place cenotaph memorial statue vandalised after bayonet bent backwards

Disgraceful moment Sydney’s cenotaph memorial statue of soldiers is BENT as gang of drunken mates climb on their shoulders

  • Bronze statue of soldier holding bayonet vandalised at Sydney’s Martin Place
  • Bayonet was discovered bent backwards during memorial service on Saturday
  • Police say they are hoping to speak to a group of five men spotted on CCTV 

A Sydney cenotaph has been vandalised after a bronze statue of a soldier holding a bayonet was bent backwards.

Police say the vandals damaged the bayonet of the statue at Martin Place just before 3.10am on Saturday.

The cenotaph was then discovered to be damaged during a memorial for the Royal Air Force Bomber Command later that morning.

The area is monitored by CCTV and police have released footage of five men, aged between 18 and 20, they would like to speak to in relation to the incident. 

One of the men, dressed in a hooded jacket, is seen in the footage sitting on the shoulders of the bronze statue while the others climb up the sides of the cenotaph.

The incident has been condemned by police, veterans and New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian who have collectively labelled it as ‘disrespectful’. 

Police say the vandals damaged the bayonet of the statue at Martin Place just before 3.10am on Saturday

The area is monitored by CCTV and police have released footage of five men, aged between 18 and 20, they would like to speak to in relation to the incident

The area is monitored by CCTV and police have released footage of five men, aged between 18 and 20, they would like to speak to in relation to the incident

One of the men, dressed in a hooded jacket, is seen in the footage sitting on the shoulders of the bronze statue while the others climb up the sides of the cenotaph

One of the men, dressed in a hooded jacket, is seen in the footage sitting on the shoulders of the bronze statue while the others climb up the sides of the cenotaph

The man who allegedly damaged the statue has light brown hair, and was wearing a dark shirt with red lettering on the back, over a long-sleeved white shirt, dark pants and shoes. 

Ms Berejiklian said the people involved in the incident would face the ‘full force of the law’. 

‘I think it’s really hurtful that a small number of Australians don’t appreciate the sacrifices many Australians made, who lost their lives and lost their livelihoods over many, many decades for our freedoms,’ she said.

‘It’s incumbent on us to make sure that every single Australian citizen is aware and grateful for the sacrifices made by our ex-servicemen and women.’ 

NSW Police Minister David Elliott called it ‘disrespectful’ and said police were investigating the matter.

‘I don’t know what type of sick individual would knowingly create such unnecessary anxiety among the defence family by showing such disrespect for our memorial. It’s criminal and morally bankrupt,’ he said.

‘I’ll be asking the police to leave no stone unturned to endure the sacrifices made by our fallen are always honoured.’  

CCTV footage shows the men climbing up the side of the cenotaph during the early hours of Saturday morning

CCTV footage shows the men climbing up the side of the cenotaph during the early hours of Saturday morning

NSW Police Minister David Elliott called it 'disrespectful' and said police were investigating the matter

NSW Police Minister David Elliott called it ‘disrespectful’ and said police were investigating the matter

RSL New South Wales president Ray James said it was an attack on Australians.

‘It’s a personal attack on all members of the community,’ he said. 

‘It’s a very special memorial for all Australians. Not just veterans, but all Australians.’

The cenotaph consists of a granite pedestal and is guarded by two bronze statues – one of a soldier and the other a sailor.

The memorial was erected following World War One to honour the brave ANZAC soldiers who had fought and died for their country.

The location of the memorial holds immense significance as many Australians enlisted for the war at Martin Place.  

The memorial was erected following World War One to honour the brave ANZAC soldiers who had fought and died for their country

The memorial was erected following World War One to honour the brave ANZAC soldiers who had fought and died for their country

Today it is used as a centrepiece for memorials to remember all soldiers who have served their country. 

It is not the first time the cenotaph has been disrespected with a French tourist caught swinging on the bayonet in 2013.

CCTV footage captured the tourist placing a cone on the head while his friend took photos on his phone.

The incident sparked outrage and the tourist was forced to issue a public apology. 

The location of the memorial holds immense significance as many Australians enlisted for the war at Martin Place

The location of the memorial holds immense significance as many Australians enlisted for the war at Martin Place

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk