Wow. What not to do: make a point about climate change by trampling on a fragile, restricted, ancient artwork.
Peru says it will sue activists from the environmental pressure group Greenpeace after they placed a banner next to the Nazca Lines heritage site.
The activists entered a restricted area next to the ancient ground markings depicting a hummingbird and laid down letters advocating renewable energy.
Peru is currently hosting the UN climate summit in its capital, Lima.
So Greenpeace rewards Peru by stomping on the Nazca lines, where people are not allowed to walk. What will they do next, have a rave in the Lascaux caves? Build a campfire at Stonehenge? Skateboard all over Machu Picchu?
Luis Jaime Castillo, a Peruvian deputy culture minister, said Peru would file charges of “attacking archaeological monuments” against the activists from Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Italy and Spain.
He said the Nazca Lines, which are an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 years old, were “absolutely fragile”.
“You walk there and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years,” he said.
The lines, depicting animals, stylised plants and imaginary figures were declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1994.
“They haven’t touched the hummingbird figure but now we have an additional figure created by the footsteps of these people,” Mr Castillo told local radio.
The activists entered a “strictly prohibited” area beside the figure of a hummingbird, the culture ministry said. They laid big yellow cloth letters reading: “Time for Change! The Future is Renewable.” The message was intended for delegates from 190 countries at the UN climate talks being held in Lima.
Castillo said no one, not even presidents and cabinet ministers, was allowed where the activists had gone without authorisation and anyone who received permission must wear special shoes.
They didn’t wear special shoes. You can see that in the photos – they’re wearing ordinary trainers, with all the ridges and bumps that trainers have.
For more on the Nazca lines, there are pictures and links at latinamericanstudies.org.