Twin ghost gums in Central Australia, frequently painted by renown indigenous Australian landscape artist Albert Namatjira, have been deliberately burned down.
The beautiful trees feature a snowy-white bark that can be seen from a great distance among the duller olive greens and rich reds of the Central Australian outback landscape. The local Aranda people are devastated by the loss of the trees which held special significance in songlines and marking clan boundaries. They were also a popular sight with tourists as they were only 16km west of Alice Springs. Namatjira incorporated the two trees into several of his paintings from the late 1930s until is death in 1959.
A fire was deliberately lit at the base of the trees sometime earlier this week. Alison Anderson, the Northern Territory Minister for Indigenous Advancement said:
“The twin Ghost Gums were a wonderful reminder of his connection to the land and many who visited the site would have felt a connection to this great Territorian. Only recently work was done around the trees to try and protect them from fires and allow as much moisture as possible to get to their roots.”