Two women have been charged after a Captain Cook statue in Sydney’s Hyde Park was defaced.
Police were alerted to the vandalism about 4am on Sunday and arrested two women – aged 27 and 28 – nearby on College Street in the CBD, NSW Police said in a statement.
The women were allegedly found with several spray cans in a bag.
They were charged with destroying or damaging property and possessing a graffiti implement and were refused bail to appear at Parramatta Bail Court later on Sunday.
One of the women has been identified as a part-time worker within the office of NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge.
“I understand that one of the two people charged regarding the incident involving the statue in Hyde Park has part-time employment with my office,” Mr Shoebridge said in a statement published by various media outlets.
“They were not engaged in employment at the time of the incident which occurred well outside of work hours.”
It comes as Victorian police are also investigating the defacing of statues in Ballarat.
The statues of former Australian prime ministers Tony Abbott and John Howard were sprayed with red paint on Saturday morning.
They have since been covered and fenced off and a conservator will assess the damage on Monday.
A Captain James Stirling statue in Perth, Western Australia was on Friday also defaced and a 30-year-old man has been charged with criminal damage or destruction of property.
The statue’s neck and hands were painted red and an Aboriginal flag was painted over the inscription at the base.