Saturday, November 03, 2012

Don Donovan's World - The Penitentiary, Port Arthur, Tasmania

Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author - 03 November 2012

Leaves From My Sketchbooks. 76. The Penitentiary, Port Arthur, Tasmania

The remains of Port Arthur's largest building, its notorious penitentiary, do little to bring joy to the artist. This is just for the record. English crime experts of the nineteenth century thought that there was a 'criminal class' there which, if it could be exported in its entirety would leave England crime-free; that's why a zero tolerance regime extended to theft of small items - anything from a sheep to a silk kerchief.

Over 400 prisoners inhabited this brick monstrosity which has been preserved for historical reasons; I'd have blown the place up if it had been up to me but perhaps there's too much left of a rebellious Irishman in my blood!


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