The criminals struck last Saturday, 26th September. They used some form of black spray paint to cover parts of the statues. During the attack Local residents who witnessed the vandals, confronted them and urged them to stop. Thankfully there does not appear to have been any physical damage to the Memorial.
The City of Port Phillip Melbourne said they will repair the damage as soon as possible.
Cr Bernadene Voss, the Mayor of Port Phillip, was saddened by the vandalism. She has participated in the Committee’s annual commemorative service for many years.
A local resident, Ms Voss has enjoyed seeing the Memorial on her regular local walks.
“I am absolutely horrified. We don’t normally get this type of destruction. Sometimes tagging, but that is truly disgraceful … I feel quite outraged, as I am sure you all do also,” she said.
Cr Voss told the Committee that she had requested that Council officers repair the damage as a matter of urgency.
Mr Tarlamis said that the Committee was particularly saddened that a memorial to the work of nurses and other medical staff had been attacked at this time, when we are all as a community so proud of the work of medical staff during the pandemic. He pointed out that not only was this attack criminal but was also in violation of the current COVID-19 restrictions.
This year’s annual commemorative service was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions that have been put in place by the Victorian Government. The Committee hopes to be able to hold its normal service in 2021.
Anyone else who witnessed the attack on the Memorial should contact the City of Port Phillip and/or South Melbourne Police on 9257 3800.
The sculpture commemorates the nurses and soldiers who served on the Greek Island of Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign in 1915 during World War One, and the role of Lemnos in the campaign. It was erected by the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee on 8th August 2015, which was the centenary of the arrival of the Australian nurses on Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign.
The sculpture consists of two statues - one of a nurse and one of a sick or wounded soldier – standing and resting on a stone plinth, that has been etched with the names of villages on Lemnos visited by the ANZACs in 1915 as well as Lemnos and Gallipoli, in Greek and in English. The sculpture is complemented by an information board and flagpoles, the latter for commemorative events. The memorial is the site of the annual Lemnos Gallipoli commemorative service conducted by the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee every August.
More information can be found here Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial