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AustraliaStudents at one of Australia's top universities call to pull down a statue of a renowned Australian explorer because they claim he was a 'known racist'

01:10  06 june  2019
01:10  06 june  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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The students say they are trying to 'decolonise' the University of Sydney and have launched a campaign to pull down the 2.4m marble statue of Australian explorer William Wentworth. Himath Siriniwasa and Georgia Mantle claim the campaign is a 'process of historical rediscovery'.

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Students at one of Australia's top universities call to pull down a statue of a renowned Australian explorer because they claim he was a 'known racist'© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited William Wentworth was one of the founders of the University of Sydney (stock image) Students at a top Australian University are fighting to have a statue of a renowned explorer removed as they claim he was a 'known racist'.

The students say they are trying to 'decolonise' the University of Sydney and have launched a campaign to pull down the 2.4m marble statue of Australian explorer William Wentworth.

Himath Siriniwasa and Georgia Mantle claim the campaign is a 'process of historical rediscovery'.

Students at one of Australia's top universities call to pull down a statue of a renowned Australian explorer because they claim he was a 'known racist'© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Students claim they are trying to 'decolonise' the University of Sydney and launched a campaign to pull down the 2.4m marble statue of Australian explorer William Wentworth (pictured)

'We seek to decolonise at large, and platform the colonialism Wentworth represented,' they wrote in student newspaper Honi Soit.

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Students at one of Australia's top universities call to pull down a statue of a renowned Australian explorer because they claim he was a 'known racist'
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'The immediate aims are symbolic – but there is power in symbolism.'

The 'Wentworth Must Fall' campaign also calls for the Wentworth building to be renamed after an Indigenous Warrior.

However, the campaign has been met with backlash by historians who have said that removing the statue would be 'whitewashing history'.

'Rewriting history is ignorance, if you try to whitewash out history how do you correct it?' Wentworth’s great-great-great-grandson Stephen Wentworth told The Daily Telegraph.

'It could be said, that if he hadn’t crossed the mountains when they did, the colony would have been abandoned and Australia would not be the country that it is today,' he said.

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He said Mr Wentworth had done a lot for Australia.

Historian Geoffrey Blainey told the Daily Telegraph Mr Wentworth was one of the main founders of the university and was one of the crucial promoters of civil liberties in 19th century Australia.

'There is a chance of only one in 100 million that any of these Sydney University students will do as much as Wentworth did for Australia.'

Who was William Wentworth?

William Charlies Wentworth was an Australian explorer, journalist and politician

He was born in 1790 and died in 1872

He led an expedition with Gregory Blaxland and William Lawson across the Blue Mountains in 1813

He was one of the founders of the University of Sydney

Chaired the committee to draft a new constitution for New South Wales

Read more

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