London

Prince William unveils statue of Australia explorer Matthew Flinders

  • 18 July 2014
  • From the section London
Prince William looks at a statute in honour of Captain Matthew Flinders Image copyright PA
Image caption The sculpture shows Captain Matthew Flinders with his cat Trim

The Duke of Cambridge has unveiled a statue in honour of an explorer who is credited with being the first person to circumnavigate - and name - Australia.

Captain Matthew Flinders is a household name in Australia, but is not as well known in his native Britain.

Prince William said he was honoured to celebrate a man who "did far more than anyone to place Australia - quite literally - on the map".

The bronze memorial was unveiled at Australia House, in central London.

'Remarkable man'

The 6ft (1.8m) sculpture, designed by Mark Richards, shows the cartographer kneeling over a map of Australia with his compass and his cat Trim, who travelled with him.

Image copyright Art Gallery of South Australia
Image caption It is believed the cartographer is buried on the site of Euston station

The government of South Australia hopes the statue will boost Captain Flinders' profile among British people.

It will be placed at Euston station where it is believed Captain Flinders was buried.

Bill Murrihead, the Agent General for South Australia, said the explorer was a "remarkable man who accomplished a huge deal" and deserved to be recognised in his homeland as he is in Australia.

Captain Flinders, who had been a naval officer, determined that New South Wales and Western Australia were one land mass.

He is also credited with naming the country when he wrote his General Chart of Terra Australia in 1804.

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