Easter Island statue destroyed after man crashes into it with truck

A Chilean man has been arrested after destroying one of Easter Island[1]‘s famed statues by crashing into it with his truck. The damage angered the Ma’u Henua community, who look after the statues, or moai[2], and regard them as sacred. Local mayor Pedro Edmunds Paoa called for better protection for the 1,000 or so moai on the Chilean island, including stricter traffic regulations.

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[3]

“Everyone decided against establishing traffic rules when it came to vehicles on sacred sites – but we, as a council, were talking about the dangers and knew very well what the rise in tourist and resident numbers could mean,” he told the El Mercurio[4] newspaper.

“They didn’t listen to us and this is the result.”

The Ma’u Henua community shared pictures of the destruction, which saw the figure reduced to rubble, on its Facebook page.

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1/25 Tusheti National Park, Georgia

The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has revealed its watch list for 2020, which includes 25 historical and culturally significant sites that are particularly endangered.

First up, Tusheti National Park, Georgia

WMF

2/25 Koutammakou, Land of the Batammariba, Benin and Togo

WMF

3/25 Ontario Place, Canada

WMF

4/25 Bennerley Viaduct, United Kingdom

WMF

5/25 Rapa Nui National Park, Chile

WMF

6/25 Alexan Palace, Egypt

WMF

7/25 Bears Ears National Monument, USA

WMF

8/25 Notre-Dame de Paris, France

WMF

9/25 Gingerbread Neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti

WMF

10/25 Historic Water Systems of the Deccan Plateau, India

WMF

11/25 Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, India

WMF

12/25 Mam Rashan Shrine, Iraq

WMF

13/25 Inari-yu Bathhouse, Japan

WMF

14/25 Iwamatsu District, Japan

WMF

15/25 Canal Nacional, Mexico

WMF

16/25 Choijin Lama Temple, Mongolia

WMF

17/25 Traditional Burmese Teak Farmhouses, Myanmar

WMF

18/25 Chivas and Chaityas of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

WMF

19/25 Anarkali Bazaar, Pakistan

WMF

20/25 Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru

WMF

21/25 Kindler Chapel, Pabianice Evangelical Cemetery, Poland

WMF

22/25 Courtyard Houses of Axerquia, Spain

WMF

23/25 Central Aguirre Historic District, USA

WMF

24/25 San Antonio Woolworth Building, USA

WMF

25/25 Traditional Houses in the Old Jewish Mahalla of Bukhara , Uzbekistan

WMF

1/25 Tusheti National Park, Georgia

The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has revealed its watch list for 2020, which includes 25 historical and culturally significant sites that are particularly endangered. First up, Tusheti National Park, Georgia

WMF

2/25 Koutammakou, Land of the Batammariba, Benin and Togo

WMF

3/25 Ontario Place, Canada

WMF

4/25 Bennerley Viaduct, United Kingdom

WMF

5/25 Rapa Nui National Park, Chile

WMF

6/25 Alexan Palace, Egypt

WMF

7/25 Bears Ears National Monument, USA

WMF

8/25 Notre-Dame de Paris, France

WMF

9/25 Gingerbread Neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti

WMF

10/25 Historic Water Systems of the Deccan Plateau, India

WMF

11/25 Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, India

WMF

12/25 Mam Rashan Shrine, Iraq

WMF

13/25 Inari-yu Bathhouse, Japan

WMF

14/25 Iwamatsu District, Japan

WMF

15/25 Canal Nacional, Mexico

WMF

16/25 Choijin Lama Temple, Mongolia

WMF

17/25 Traditional Burmese Teak Farmhouses, Myanmar

WMF

18/25 Chivas and Chaityas of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

WMF

19/25 Anarkali Bazaar, Pakistan

WMF

20/25 Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru

WMF

21/25 Kindler Chapel, Pabianice Evangelical Cemetery, Poland

WMF

22/25 Courtyard Houses of Axerquia, Spain

WMF

23/25 Central Aguirre Historic District, USA

WMF

24/25 San Antonio Woolworth Building, USA

WMF

25/25 Traditional Houses in the Old Jewish Mahalla of Bukhara , Uzbekistan

WMF

It wrote in an emotive post: “In the Ma ‘u Henua Community, we regret what happened this morning in the PU A PAU sector, where a truck hit one of our Ahu, seriously damaging the structure that included a moai. I love you.

“We reiterate the importance of taking care of the heritage we have in our park.

Because they are not only archaeological vestiges, they are sacred elements for a living and fundamental culture in our cosmovision Rapa Nui[5].”

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The Unesco World Heritage-protected moai are monolithic human figures, carved by the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island between 1250 and 1500.

Many of the statues are set on stone platforms known as “ahu”.

Rapa Nui National Park was included by the World Monuments Fund (WMF) on its 2020 watchlist[6], which highlights 25 attractions that are particularly endangered.

WMF said these sites are facing “daunting threats such as encroaching urbanisation, political turmoil, natural disaster, and violent conflicts, or present compelling conservation opportunities”.

References

  1. ^ Easter Island (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ moai (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ Download now (independent.onelink.me)
  4. ^ El Mercurio (www.mercuriovalpo.cl)
  5. ^ Rapa Nui (www.independent.co.uk)
  6. ^ World Monuments Fund (WMF) on its 2020 watchlist (www.independent.co.uk)

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