Pioneers in search of new site
DISCARDED statues of two Melbourne pioneers may finally get a new home.
There are plans to bring out of storage the sculptures of John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner that once stood in Collins St. The statues had been displayed outside the former National Mutual building, but were removed when the site was taken over by developer CBUS Property for its Collins Arch project.
Since then, a controversy has erupted over Batman’s alleged role in the killing of Tasmanian Aborigines, leading to the federal seat of Batman being renamed Cooper after Yorta Yorta activist William Cooper.
Sculptor Michael Meszaros created the Pascoe Fawkner statue, and is custodian of the Batman work as its maker, Stanley Hammond, is deceased and his relatives can’t be contacted. Mr Meszaros is hoping both sculptures will again be displayed in a CBD location.
However, if that falls through, it is possible that the City of Moreland will acquire the Pascoe Fawkner sculpture due to the pioneer’s links with the area. Councillors this week voted to put the proposal to the local community, including Aboriginal groups.