Two women have been arrested in Sydney, after the statue of Captain Cook in Hyde Park was spray painted in the early hours of this morning, amid ongoing protests.

NSW Police say that they were alerted to vandalism on the statue at around 4am:

“Officers from Sydney City Police Area Command attended and arrested two women – aged 27 and 28 nearby on College Street. Police will allege the women were found with a bag containing a number of spray cans. The pair have been taken to Day Street Police Station where they are expected to be charged.”

On Friday night, officers took to Hyde Park to break up a Stop Black Deaths in Custody: Solidarity with Long Bay Prisoners protest, and protect the statue of Captain Cook.

This particular monument has been the target of graffiti before – in 2017, it was spray painted with ‘Change The Date’ and ‘No Pride In Genocide’ slogans.

The following year, a statue of Captain Cook in Melbourne was drenched in pink paint, in the lead-up to an Invasion Day demonstration.

Statues of historical figures like Christopher Columbus have been toppled around the world in recent days, as Black Lives Matter protests continue.

A statue of white supremacist newspaper editor Edward Carmack was recently torn down in the US state of Tennessee, and authorities have said they plan to replace it.

Taylor Swift urged them not to do so, calling Carmack a “despicable” figure, and saying that replacing his statue would be “a waste of state funds and a waste of an opportunity to do the right thing.”

Image: Getty Images / Universal Images Group