Stargazer arrested in operatic double act

March 21, 2003

A British astronomer arrested for painting an anti-war slogan on the world-famous sails of the Sydney Opera House in Australia faces deportation.

Will Saunders was arrested on Tuesday together with an Australian environmentalist, David Burgess, for "climbing a structure and painting it" and for malicious damage.

Dr Saunders, 42, has been living in Australia on a work visa for three years. After his arrest, he was reportedly issued with a government notice of intention to cancel the visa.

Dr Saunders is a project scientist at the Anglo-Australian Observatory. The observatory is a joint venture involving Australia and the UK's Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council.

Dr Saunders formerly worked at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh and was a Royal Society research fellow.

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