Heated moment Carrie Bickmore and Steve Price argue if ‘racist’ statues should be torn down

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Heated moment Carrie Bickmore and Steve Price discuss whether ‘racist’ statues of the past should be torn down – reportedly criticized ‘too many monuments to white men’

  • Carrie Bickmore and Steve Price have very different views on the Hobart statue
  • Controversial statue honors former Tasmania Prime Minister William Crowther
  • Price and Bickmore argued about how we learn from history

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The hosts of The Project have erupted with very opposing views on plans to tear down a statue deemed racist, after a report criticized there are “too many monuments to white men.”

Hobart City Council tore down a statue of William Crowther, who removed the skull of Aboriginal William Lanne in 1869 and sent it to London nine years before he became Prime Minister of Tasmania.

The project’s host, Steve Price, argued that many are happy that historical figures are honored with statues, but co-host Carrie Bickmore broke through, saying that learning about history means you can make changes.

“If they were founded by the public, then maybe that public didn’t have all the information at the time,” Bickmore said.

Co-hosts of The Project Carrie Bickmore (left) and Steve Price (right) have very different views on the removal of a controversial statue in Tasmania

Co-hosts of The Project Carrie Bickmore (left) and Steve Price (right) have very different views on the removal of a controversial statue in Tasmania

Price replied that ‘maybe they had all the information and things have changed, times have changed’.

Peter Helliar, another host, said: ‘It doesn’t erase history at all, it just means we don’t cease to be celebrated as a statue invites you to do.’

An obviously unhappy Price said, “I think rioters would like us to knock down every statue of Captain Cook or get rid of every statue of Captain Phillip.”

He referred to James Cook, who made the first recorded European contact with the east coast of Australia, and Arthur Phillip, the first governor of the colony of New South Wales.

The statue of William Crowther, who removed the skull of Aboriginal William Lanne in 1869 and sent it to London nine years before he became Prime Minister of Tasmania, will be demolished

The statue of William Crowther, who removed the skull of Aboriginal William Lanne in 1869 and sent it to London nine years before he became Prime Minister of Tasmania, will be demolished

The statue of William Crowther, who removed the skull of Aboriginal William Lanne in 1869 and sent it to London nine years before he became Prime Minister of Tasmania, will be demolished

Waleed Aly, another The Project presenter, said how statues of historical figures are viewed is “a spectrum.”

“The Crowther case is a special one, because of what he is said to have done,” he said.

“I think there are people who would say come down, Cook might be something else…

“I’d be wary if I said you’re talking about monolithic views across the board,” he said.

Price replied that he didn’t like “erasing history…I’m very uncomfortable tearing down statues.”

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