ABC North Queensland captured this photo of the blood on Robert Town's hands.
ABC North Queensland captured this photo of the blood on Robert Town's hands.

Blackbirder’s hands soaked in ‘blood’

THE statue of Townsville's namesake has been vandalised to look like it has blood on its hands.

The bronze statue of Robert Towns, on Ogden Street near Bulletin Square, has had red paint put on its hands.

Towns' checkered history has been highlighted in recent months following the worldwide pressure to have statues of people involved in slave trade removed.

Statue of Robert Towns in Townsville. Pic Cameron Laird
Statue of Robert Towns in Townsville. Pic Cameron Laird

Towns was involved in blackbirding, which involved the tricking or cohering South Sea islander people to come to North Queensland and work on cane farms for little or no money.

The statue has made it into the media multiple times in recent weeks when Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested there was no history of slavery in Australia and when Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said there was little evidence linking Towns to blackbirding and there was no reason to remove the statue.

ABC North Queensland has reported CCTV captured vision of the act, which would assist police in identifying who was responsible.

"It is very disappointing that the statue of Robert Towns on our Pioneers Walk has been vandalised," a council spokesman told ABC.

"The vandalism will be reported to the Queensland Police Service."

There is a few flecks of red paint still on Robert Towns' hands. Picture: Keagan Elder
There is a few flecks of red paint still on Robert Towns' hands. Picture: Keagan Elder


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