13 Dec 2013

Anger growing in PNG at destruction of artworks at parliament

4:17 pm on 13 December 2013

There is growing anger in Papua New Guinea at the destruction of cultural artefacts at the Parliament buildings in Port Moresby.

The speaker, Theo Zurenuoc, earlier this month removed carved panels from the front of the picturesque building, prompting outcries of cultural vandalism.

He is reportedly following directives of members of an Israeli Christian group which the Post Courier newspaper reports style itself as prayer warriors.

Despite a call from the prime minister, Peter O'Neill, to stop, Mr Zurenuoc is now dismantling 15 metre tall totems that took three years for master craftsmen to carve.

The editor of the Post Courier, Alexander Rheeney, says many people are upset.

"We have actually been getting letters to the editor sent in by Papua New Guineans who are basically angry. They are very frustrated with the way things have gone. If you were to look at the conversations and the discussions taking place on social media, a lot of Papua New Guineans are actually condemning the actions of the Speaker."

The editor of the Post Courier, Alexander Rheeney.