Vandals cut off head of warrior's statue


Vandals have cut off the head of a statue of the Aboriginal warrior Yagan, whose real head was returned to Australia from Britain last week. An Aboriginal elder appealed for calm after the bronze head was stolen but said he feared an attack on European statues around Perth, including one of Queen Victoria.

The Nyoongar elder, Mr Robert Bropho, admitted the vandalism might be connected to a furore last week when a member of the party that brought home the real head claimed the car-accident death of Diana, Princess of Wales, was spiritually linked to Yagan's decapitation.

Yagan was a resistance fighter against British colonisation who was killed by a bounty hunter in Australia in 1833.

Yagan's smoked head was taken to Britain and exhibited as a curio before it was buried in a pauper's grave in Liverpool 30 years ago.

The head was exhumed last month after repeated pleas from Aborigines for its return. Vandals in the past had painted the statue white, stolen its spear and attempted to remove its genitals.