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.

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