The 'Crowther Reinterpreted' project

Bronwyn Carlson, Terri Farrelly, Judith Abell, Jane Castle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the city of nipaluna (Hobart), lutruwita (Tasmania), a bronze statue of William Crowther, known as a surgeon, naturalist and parliamentarian, has recently been the subject of what has been known as the ‘Crowther Reinterpreted’ project, led by the City of Hobart. Whilst holding one of four positions of honorary medical officer at the Hobart General Hospital, Crowther was suspended in March 1869 over charges of mutilating the body of William Lanne, incorrectly believed to be one of the last surviving palawa as a result of systematic, government-sanctioned attempts at genocide. Crowther stole Lanne’s head, eventually sending it to the Royal College of Surgeons in London. It is also speculated that Lanne’s hands and feet were cut off, and the remainder of the skeleton removed. The Crowther statue has long been a source of pain for Aboriginal people, and in 2021/2022, the City of Hobart conducted a project consisting of interpretive truth-telling art installations and community consultation to inform a proposal for a permanent solution. This chapter comprises an interview between the editors of this volume and members of the Crowther Reinterpreted project team and explores the process the City of Hobart took, the outcomes of the project, and the experienced strengths and challenges of their approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave handbook on rethinking colonial commemorations
EditorsBronwyn Carlson, Terri Farrelly
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783031286094
ISBN (Print)9783031286087
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Aboriginal
  • art installations
  • colonial commemoration
  • community consultation
  • community engagement
  • lutruwita
  • palawa
  • reinterpretation
  • removal
  • Tasmania
  • truth-telling
  • William Crowther
  • William Lanne


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