The statue in St Kilda’s Catani Gardens, St Kilda was cut from its stone base shortly before 3.30am on Thursday.
Vandals spray painted the chilling words ‘the colony will fall’ in red on the memorial base and left the statue hacked off at its ankles behind face down in the grass.
Workers have arrived at the park to remove the broken statue and wash off the graffiti ahead of the national public holiday on Friday
Police have launched an investigation to track down the culprits responsible.
Reports have emerged that a second statue at the National Gallery of Victoria was also vandalised on Thursday.
A Captain Cook memorial was vandalised at a park in St Kilda early Thursday morning
Liberal MP Angus Taylor called out the vandalism.
‘Captain Cook was a man of the enlightenment. Why would they do this to I think a great human being,’ he told the Today show on Thursday.
‘It’s another one of those acts that frankly, everyone should condemn.’
Port Phillip councillor Marcus Pearl added: ‘This is not a solitary act of mischief.’
‘It’s a repeated pattern of disrespect, especially evident around Australia Day for the past six years. Such acts blatantly disregard our community’s hard-fought principles of debate and democratic expression.’
The statue has been a frequent target for vandals in recent years.
The hacked off statue of Captain James Cook was left dumped on the ground near the vandalised base
The statue of Captain Cook was hacked off from the stone base by its ankles
The statue had red paint thrown over it over three consecutive days in 2022 as part of an Australia Day protest and was previously vandalised in 2020 and 2018.
Several people were seen loitering in the area around the time of the incident.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.
The statue was built to commemorate Captain James Cook, a British explorer who made the first recorded European contact with Australia’s east coast on April 29, 1770.
Australia Day, observed each year on January 26, marks the landing of the First Fleet in 1788 when the first governor of the British colony of Arthur Philip, hoisted the Union Jack at Sydney Cove.
But, for many First Nations people, it is regarded as ‘Invasion Day’ or the ‘Day of Mourning’
Invasion Day protests are scheduled to take place in major cities across Australia on Friday.
The same Captain Cook monument in St Kilda was splattered with red paint in 2022 (pictured)