NPR : News

Filed Under:

In Australia, Trees Made Famous By Aboriginal Artist Fall To Suspected Arsonist

Two "ghost gum" trees that were revered by many in Australia after being made famous by Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira have been found toppled over and burned — victims of a suspected arsonist.

The trees, in the outback near Alice Springs, were due to soon be put on Australia's national heritage register, The Guardian says. It adds that:

"Namatjira [who died in 1959] is credited with bringing the native trees — which are featured in Aboriginal Dreamtime stories and named for their white bark that glows in moonlight — to wider public consciousness as a symbol of Australian identity."

Susan McCulloch, author of The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, tells The Sydney Morning Herald that the destruction of the trees is an "appalling and a tragic act of cultural vandalism."

As the Herald writes, "Namatjira is one of Australia's best-known artists, his vivid watercolors bringing his deep familiarity with the desert into the lounge rooms of middle Australia, particularly the lands around the West MacDonnell Ranges, for which he was a traditional custodian. Rather than paint the desert as the dead heart, which painters such as Sidney Nolan did, Namatjira presented it as luminous with engaging individual qualities; he enabled the viewer to see the center as a multi-faceted region of Australia."

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

In An Alternate 19th Century London, Sins Are Marked With 'Smoke'

NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Dan Vyleta about his novel, Smoke. It's set in an alternate 19th century London, where the morally corrupt are marked by a smoke that pours from their bodies.
NPR

The Judgment Of Paris: The Blind Taste Test That Decanted The Wine World

Forty years ago, the top names in French food and wine judged a blind tasting pitting the finest French wines against unknown California bottles. The results revolutionized the wine industry.
NPR

Donald Trump Dredges Up Clinton Scandals Of The '90s

The scandals of the 1990s are back as likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump dubs likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton an enabler of her husband's extra marital affairs.
NPR

$81 Million Bangladesh Bank Heist Sparks Push For Stepped-Up Cybersecurity

The head of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication acknowledged at least two security breaches in addition to February's spectacular theft involving Bangladesh's central bank.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.