The Corner

Peru: Greenpeace Activists Wreaked Havoc on Ancient World Heritage Site

Greenpeace activists who trespassed and set up pro-renewable-energy banners on ancient grounds may have irreparably scarred the Nazca Lines World Heritage Site, says the Peruvian government.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, “The Nazca Lines are one of South America’s most famous archaeological wonders, a mysterious series of huge animal, imaginary human and plant symbols etched into the ground between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500.”

So fragile is the ground that Peru hasn’t even allowed presidents and other top officials to tread where the Greenpeace activists went; Jaime Castillo, the deputy culture minister, told the BBC, “You walk there, and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years.” Visitors generally view the site aerially, or, on rare occasions, wearing special booties.

But as Lima hosted the UN climate conference, Greenpeace activists sneaked into the restricted area and installed bright yellow banners, proclaiming: “Time for change! The future is renewable.” A Greenpeace spokesperson claims the demonstrators, who wore sneakers in the photos, were “absolutely careful to protect the Nazca Lines.”

Peru plans to file criminal charges against any activists it can catch before they leave the country. “It’s a true slap in the face at everything Peruvians consider sacred,” Castillo told the Guardian.

 — Jillian Kay Melchior writes for National Review as a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center. She is also a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.

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