Protesters on Thursday set fire to the Old Parliament House in Australia’s capital city of Canberra, which badly damaged the front entrance of the building.

Firefighters were called to the site at about 11.30 a.m. (local time), reports Xinhua news agency.

Video footage by local media showed protesters at the front of the building.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the Old Parliament House, which now houses the Museum of Australian Democracy, was forced to close last week when protesters started a fire at the door, which was later believed to be a ceremonial blaze.

The building was evacuated as a precaution and crews extinguished the blaze, said 7 News Australia.

Social media footage showed police dragging protesters away from the front steps of the building, as well as a large fire burning on the doors.

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ACT Policing confirmed Friday’s incident as continuation of a series of recent protests.

“Old Parliament House was evacuated earlier today after protesters started a fire at the front doors of the building – this was quickly extinguished by ACT Fire and Rescue,” 7 News Australia quoted a spokesperson said.

“There has been ongoing protest activity at the front of Old Parliament House throughout the past fortnight.”

Reacting to the incident, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said it was “an absolute disgrace”

Old Parliament House was the seat of Australia’s federal politics from 1927 until 1988, and is now listed on the National Heritage Register.

The building houses the Museum of Australian Democracy.

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