UPROAR over the damage to the Captain Cook monument is understandable, painting the name Maori's has to indicate it is some kind of protest. He was a local lad and hero of his times leaving his legacy down the centuries. For 250 years he has been celebrated and quite rightly so, along with others we might add, he did a great thing. Sailing halfway round the world and back to map out and investigate lands unknown certainly to most of the rest of the world was no mean feat.

However we can't pretend there weren't problems. Last year the British government expressed regret for the killing of Māori people shortly after Captain James Cook’s arrival in New Zealand in 1769, interestingly stopping short of an apology.

So the question is where do we go with this, defacing monuments is not the way and for Spectator it did feel like a real slap in the face that a monument to our local hero should be daubed on and quite frankly insulted. But looking on the bright side and bearing in mind it should be quite straightforward to clean it up maybe it reawakens interest and discussion about the voyages, the connections between the countries of the world and Britain's past approach.

History is such a tricky subject and always should be looked at with an open mind, there is disquiet that the accompanying plaque on the monument, also daubed with paint, talks about "savages" and "pagans" but again has to be viewed in its time.

It occurs to Spectator that some will not know what the monument is, it's a 60ft tall obelisk standing on Easby Moor above Great Ayton and can only be viewed up close by trekking up very steep hills on the Cleveland Way, so whoever the culprit is has to be one very fit protestor.