The Peruvian government is planning to file criminal charges against Greenpeace activists who may have permanently scarred the Nazca Lines World Heritage Site during a publicity stunt.
As The Guardianreports, the Nazca lines “are huge figures depicting living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary figures scratched on the surface of the ground between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago.” The figures, which can only be seen from the air, are believed to have had ritual functions related to astronomy.
The ground around the site is so sensitive and so sacred that Peru has even forbidden presidents and top officials to walk where the Greenpeace activists went. Peru’s Deputy Culture Ministertold the BBC: “They are absolutely fragile. They are black rocks on a white background. You walk there, and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years. And the line that they have destroyed is the most visible and most recognized of all.”