Plan to revamp Capt Cook statue to George Washington draws ire in Australia

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Cairns (Australia), Mar 30(ANI): An audacious plan to have a landmark Captain Cook statue in Cairns, Australia, to be repainted and turned into former US President George Washington has drawn the ire of many locals.

The 10-metre high statue, originally constructed to attract guests to the Captain Cook Motel, now resides in the car park of the Tradies Bar.

Statue owner Graham Johnston said that he plans to repaint the captain's uniform and change his allegiance as part of a promotion for his bar.

He further said the idea came after a South African tourist confused the British explorer and an Australian icon for the US President.

"So I looked into it and I found out George Washington had a keen sense of humour, liked a cold ale on a hot day, and was a good sporting man. He fits right in with all the people from Tradies," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Johnson, as saying.

"So maybe it's time to give him a promotion, a change of uniform and turn him into a pretty flash-looking chap and maybe attract a few Yankee tourists," he added.

Several local politicians have criticised the move, including Cairns MP Desley Boyle, who predicted that Johnson would be "hung, drawn and quartered if he tried that".

Despite the criticism, Johnson has vowed to continue with the plan.

"My middle name is 'no surrender'. They (detractors) need to get a sense of humour, people need to chill out a little," he added. (ANI)

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