One hundred and fifty years of exposure to salt-laden air has taken its toll on the sandstone monument to Lieutenant James Cook at Kurnell.
The obelisk has been undergoing repairs and stabilisation, involving cleaning, re-pointing and water management ahead of the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the Endeavour and first contact with Aboriginal Australians.
The monument was built in 1870 by Thomas Holt to mark the 100th anniversary of the landing in 1770.
A spokesman for the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, which is responsible for the project, said the obelisk was “being refreshed to ensure it remains an important landmark within the Kamay meeting place at Kurnell”.
“The conservation work is being undertaken as part of the Kamay Botany Bay National Park: Kurnell Master Plan, which is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments,” he said.
“Kamay Botany Bay National Park is listed on the NSW State Heritage Register for its Aboriginal cultural, historic and natural heritage.
“Kurnell Headland (comprising Kamay Botany Bay National Park and the Sydney Water land at Potter Point), is listed on the National Heritage List as being of outstanding heritage value to the nation as the site of first recorded contact between Indigenous people and Britain in eastern Australia.
“This project forms part of Kamay 2020, which acknowledges the 250th anniversary of the contact between Aboriginal Australians and the crew of the HMB Endeavour, also described as the meeting of two cultures.
“Along with the conservation of the Obelisk other works being undertaken as part of Kamay 2020 include restoration of Alpha House and the installation of public art sculptures to remember and interpret the events of April 1770.
“The La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council is represented on the Kamay 2020 Project Board.”
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