SYDNEY - A pair of "ghost gum" trees in Australia's outback made famous in watercolors by Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira have been destroyed in a suspected arson attack, shortly before they were due to be placed on a national heritage register.
Namatjira is credited with bringing ghost gums, native trees 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.
Northern Territory Indigenous Advancement Minister Alison Anderson said the pair of ghost gums that frame the West MacDonnell Ranges and feature in many of the late Namatjira's works were found burnt to the ground a few days ago.
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