Home Australia Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan slams $100,000 in damage at Chinese museum and Buddhist monument at Bendigo as ‘senseless and disgraceful’ – as cops hunt for couple driving a silver Toyota

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan slams $100,000 in damage at Chinese museum and Buddhist monument at Bendigo as ‘senseless and disgraceful’ – as cops hunt for couple driving a silver Toyota

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Police are investigating after two people damaged paintings and statues worth $100,000 at the Golden Dragon Museum in Bendigo, regional Victoria, on Sunday afternoon.

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan condemned the defacement of Chinese artefacts in her constituency as “senseless and shameful”.

Police are investigating after two people damaged paintings and statues worth $100,000 at the Golden Dragon Museum in Bendigo, regional Victoria, on Sunday afternoon.

It is alleged that a man and a woman went to the museum at around 1.30pm and used a liquid to cause significant damage to the paintings and statues.

The criminals left the scene in a silver Toyota Prado, before attacking sculptures at a Buddhist monument northwest of the city.

It is understood two children were with them but were not involved in the incident.

Police are investigating after two people damaged paintings and statues worth $100,000 at the Golden Dragon Museum in Bendigo, regional Victoria, on Sunday afternoon.

‘This just doesn’t make sense. It’s disgraceful and disrespectful,” Allan told reporters in Richmond.

“Our Golden Dragon Museum is a wonderful place to celebrate Chinese culture and heritage and how Bendigo and the wider goldfields were built from so many Chinese immigrants… and that rich heritage lives on today.”

Investigators believe the woman threw an oily substance on statues, masonry, temple artifacts, artwork and parading dragons.

Golden Dragon Museum executive director Hugo Leschen said the incident was very disturbing for staff, volunteers and the wider community.

“This museum is very loved,” Leschen told AAP.

“We are the largest and most important collection of Chinese cultural and heritage material in Australia.”

The oily liquid has been sent for scientific analysis.

“In a sense, all vandalism is absurd, but this was done with a great purpose,” Mr Leschen said.

“She’s gone out and done this and caused enormous damage with her actions.”

The family is believed to have then driven northwest of Bendigo to the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, a Buddhist monument, to deface more artefacts.

“We estimate the repair bill will run into the tens of thousands of dollars and we will work to repair what we can,” Stupa President Ian Green said in a statement.

“The objects in the Stupa are considered sacred and various religious communities have entrusted many of them to the Great Stupa to help preserve and celebrate their traditions, providing a space for worship and fellowship,” Mr Green said.

Investigators launched a public appeal on Tuesday and released images of two people and an image of a silver Toyota Prado.

They urge witnesses or anyone with any information that could help investigators to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

CrimeVictoria (Australia)

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