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Stan Grant calls for Captain Cook statue to be changed

Indigenous broadcaster Stan Grant has called on Australia to follow the example set by the United States and consider altering statues that leave a ‘legacy of pain’.

The U.S. has been rocked in recent weeks by violent conflict, stemming largely from a push to tear down statues of Confederate army figures such as Robert E Lee.

Claiming that it makes Indigenous people and culture feel ‘invisible’, Grant has called for the inscription on a statue in Sydney’s Hyde Park that credits Captain James Cook with ‘discovering Australia’ to be changed.

Indigenous broadcaster Stan Grant (pictured) has called on Australia to follow the example set by the United States and consider altering a statue of Captain James Cook that leaves a ‘legacy of pain’

Claiming that it makes Indigenous people and culture feel 'invisible', Grant has called for the inscription on this statue of Captain James Cook located in Sydney's Hyde Park to be changed

Claiming that it makes Indigenous people and culture feel ‘invisible’, Grant has called for the inscription on this statue of Captain James Cook located in Sydney’s Hyde Park to be changed

Having led the ‘First Fleet’ of British ships to Australia in 1770, the statue of Captain Cook unveiled in 1879 is inscribed with: ‘DISCOVERED THIS TERRITORY 1770’

But in an opinion article written for the ABC, the respected Indigenous advocate told how the claims on the statue were a sore point for Indigenous people.

While saying he didn’t want the statue pulled down, Mr Grant called it a reminder of ‘the violent rupture of Aboriginal society’ – one he claimed they are still enduring.

‘This statue speaks to emptiness, it speaks to our invisibility,’ he said.

‘It says that nothing truly mattered, nothing truly counted until a white sailor first walked on these shores.’

Referring to the lack of acknowledgement about the way Australia had been taken in an instant from the Indigenous people, Mr Grant called it the ‘great silence’.

In the past week, following racist rallies and riots, calls to tear down a statue of Confederate army leader Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville have grown louder.

Just like Lee, who fought to keep slavery in the American Civil War, Captain Cook is a figure that brought pain to Australia, according to Mr Grant.

The U.S. has been rocked in recent weeks by violent conflict, stemming largely from a push to tear down statues of Confederate army figures (pictured) such as Robert E Lee

The U.S. has been rocked in recent weeks by violent conflict, stemming largely from a push to tear down statues of Confederate army figures (pictured) such as Robert E Lee

Following racist rallies and riots, calls to tear down a statue of Confederate army leader Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville have grown louder

Following racist rallies and riots, calls to tear down a statue of Confederate army leader Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville have grown louder

‘Captain Cook’s statue stands in the centre of our biggest city. There are Indigenous people who for good reason would prefer to see it removed,’ he wrote.

‘Personally I accept that it remains; Cook is part of the story of this nation.’

Mr Grant’s call to change the statue’s inscription comes after a second Melbourne council voted in favour of not celebrating Australia Day in 2018 because its ‘racist’.

The City of Darebin council, which governs several of Melbourne’s northern suburbs, made the decision on Monday night – a week after the City of Yarra.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk