(CNN)The day before Australia celebrated its national day Friday, a statue of British explorer James Cook in Melbourne was vandalized, covered with pink paint and the words "No pride."
The arguments for and against Australia Day on January 26
Cook is often credited as the first European to discover Australia.
Every year Australia Day, held on January 26, is the focus of huge controversy and debate.
While many Australians see it as a chance to celebrate the country's lifestyle, culture and achievements, typically through barbeques and public events, the date is not a happy one for Australia's Indigenous people.
On the 26th of January 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip raised the British flag at Sydney Cove, beginning the long destruction of Indigenous people and their culture. In recent years there has been a call by left-wing groups to move the date to a less controversial day.
But the conservative Liberal National Coalition government has criticized any suggestion of a potential change of date, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Polling has given conflicting results on how Australians actually feel about Australia Day.
A poll commissioned by progressive think tank Australia Institute found 56% didn't care when the national day was held, while a separate poll from conservative group the Institute of Public Affairs resulted in 70% support for keeping Australia Day on January 26.
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