Statue of Captain James Cook dumped into Victoria's Inner Harbour

He was the first English explorer to visit what is now the west coast of British Columbia

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      A sculpture of one of the most famous colonial explorers no longer stands facing Victoria's grand Empress Hotel.

      That's because some people decided to chuck the memorial to Capt. James Cook into Inner Harbour, which is just a short distance from the Parliament Buildings.

      This came after a gathering of people on the lawn of the B.C. legislature on the 154th anniversary of Confederation. They were there to remember the children who never returned from Indian residential schools.

      Last summer, the statue of Cook was splashed with red paint.

      The bronze and granite statue was created by Derek and Patricia Freeborn, according to the Capital Regional District. It was commissioned by the Victoria Environmental Enhancement Foundation and unveiled by former premier Bill Bennett in 1976.

      Last month during an antilogging protest at the B.C. legislature, a statue of Queen Victoria was vandalized.

      That promped Chief Ron Sam of the Songhees Nation and Chief Rob Thomas of the Esquimalt Nation to condemn acts of vandalism against statues on the grounds of the legislature.

      The British Library Board created this short video about Capt. James Cook's voyages.

      Cook was the first English seafaring explorer to lead an expedition to the west coast of what is now British Columbia.

      Cook sailed into Nootka Sound in 1778 with his two ships, Resolution and Discovery, on a search for the western exit to the Northwest Passage. From there, he travelled all the way up to what's now called Alaska, mapping the coastline.

      It was his third major voyage to Pacific Ocean destinations. He was accompanied by seamen William Bligh, made famous in Mutiny on the Bounty, and George Vancouver, now the namesake of B.C.'s largest city.

      Cook was killed in 1779 in Hawaii.

      (An earlier version of this article mistakenly described the statue as bronze and granite, based on the description on the CRD website.)