Monarchists are furious the Opera House was emblazoned with the Indian flag to honour Narendra Modi’s visit but was left blank for King Charles’ coronation.
The sails of Sydney‘s iconic harbourside venue were lit up with the colours of the Indian flag on Wednesday night.
Prime Minister Anothony Albanese was pictured grinning and giving the peace sign next to Mr Mordi in a photo op during the Indian prime minister’s visit to Australia.
The sails of the Opera House were lit up in the colours of the Indian flag on Wednesday night. Anthony Albanese and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi flashed peace signs (pictured)
The NSW government refused to light the sails to mark King Charles’ coronation this month after Premier Chris Minns said it would be ‘too expensive’
Critics have questioned why the federal government was not prepared to mark the occasion of King Charles’ recent coronation in the same fashion on May 6.
‘Can for India’s PM, can’t for our own King,’ commentator Michael Smith wrote on Twitter.
Australian lawyer and failed Liberal candidate Katherine Deves fumed at the apparent double standards.
‘Labor-Greens will grab any opportunity to undermine & devalue our prosperous, stable, successful constitutional monarchy,’ she wrote.
Another Twitter user accused Mr Albanese of using his office as his ‘own private play thing’.
‘Too expensive to light up for the coronation, but happy to do it for another photo op with the Indian PM,’ they seethed.
The Opera House’s sails stayed dark during the Coronation despite various other landmarks across the country being illuminated purple for the occasion.
After the death of Queen Elizabeth last September, her face was projected onto the sails for two days ‘to recognise Her Majesty’s contribution to the life and culture of Australia’.
NSW Premier Chris Minns came under fire earlier this month for not lighting up the Opera House for the coronation of King Charles III, a decision he stood by in order to ‘protect the taxpayers’ money’.
The Late Debate contributor Liz Storer said it was a ‘once-in-a-lifetime event’.
‘This was a slap in the face to the will of the people who made what they wanted very clear and you (Premier Minns) just did what you wanted, which was the Labor government’s agenda to push a republic at all costs,’ she said.
Mr Minns was put on the spot by 2GB radio host Ben Fordham, who asked him why he was happy for it to be lit for some occasions and not for others.
After the death of Queen Elizabeth last September, her face was projected onto the sails for two days ‘to recognise Her Majesty’s contribution to the life and culture of Australia’ (pictured)
The sails were lit to mark Sydney’s international Pride festival earlier this year (pictured)
‘I appreciate that it was done when the Queen passed away,’ Mr Minns said.
‘I thought that that was appropriate but the reason for that was it was a commemoration of the life that she’d led and the sacrifice she’d made on behalf of the commonwealth, Australia and the UK – not as a result of her passing or the commemoration of the king.’
Mr Albanese said the decision not to honour the King’s coronation lay with the state government.
‘I was in the UK so I wasn’t a party to any of those decisions,’ he told 2GB’s Chris O’Keefe.
Mr Albanese then defended the decision to light the sails with the Indian flag, claiming there were ‘1.4 billion reasons why’ in reference to the coutnry’s massive population.
‘One of the things about lighting up the Opera House is that it projects our image to the world,’ Mr Albanese said.
‘It will mean that there is coverage … There are 1.4 billion reasons why we want the Indian flag on the Opera House, because it is the largest population in the world.
‘Two thirds of those 1.4 billion people are under the age of 35. We want a relationship with them – we want them to come to Australia, to bring their dollars, to create jobs and create that economic activity in the tourism sector.’
The lighting up of the sails – which are estimated to cost between $80,000 and $100,000 – comes after Mr Albanese held a bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart.
Mr Albanese (pictured alongside Indian PM Modi) said there were 1.4 billion reasons why’ the Opera House was lit up in the colours of the Indian flag in reference to the coutnry’s massive population
The pair inked a deal to slow down people smuggling and improve relations between the two countries.
The Opera House would have been the scene of the QUAD leaders summit on Wednesday, which was canned last week after US President Joe Biden pulled out at the last minute.
The Opera House was lit up 70 times in 2022, costing the public between $5.6m and $7m.
These included displays Indigenous artwork to mark Australia Day, the yellow and blue of the Ukraine flag to show solidarity after their invasion by Russia and international festivals like Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights and the Lunar New Year.
It also included tributes to mark the deaths of Olivia Newton-John and former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, as well as police officers and paramedics killed while on duty.
Mr Minns previously said he thought it was ‘just being lit up too often’.
The Opera House will be lit over the next month for the Vivid winter festival of light, music and ideas, involving immersive light installations and projections and musical performances.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk