Destinations

Truck collides with sacred Easter Island monument, causing “incalculable” damage

Easter Island’s mayor has called for motor restrictions to be put in place after a truck collided with a sacred stone monument.

A Chilean man has been charged with damaging the national monument, after a brake failure saw his truck hit a sacred ‘moai’ statue, causing “incalculable” damage to it and its platform, according to Chilean politician and Mayor of Easter Island Pedro Edmunds Paoa, as reported by Chilean newspaper El Mercurio de Valparaíso.

The statue is one of around 1,000 sacred ‘moai’ that dot Easter Island, which were built by the local Rapa Nui people and are believed by their creators to carry the spirits of prominent ancestors, and seen as living incarnations of their relatives.

“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”, Edmunds Poa told El Mercurio.

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

President of the Ma’u Henua community Camilo Rapu, which looks after the moai, said the crash may have been deliberate.

“As people know, the moai are sacred structures that possess a religious value for the people of Rapa Nui,” he said.

“Something like this isn’t just dreadful – it’s an offence against a living culture that has spent the last few years fighting to regain its historic and archaeological heritage.”

The group reiterated the importance of taking care of Easter Island’s heritage in a post on Facebook:

Easter Island lures some 12,000 tourists per month, with the moai statues a key drawcard to the island. However, while they are an important feature of the Polynesian island, they aren’t always treated with the respect they deserve.

In July last year, a slew of nose-picking selfies from tourists with moai contributed to concerns by experts that the island is suffering from overtourism.

Featured image: Sunrise over Ahu Tongariki, Easter Island (iStock.com/HappyToBeHomeless)


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

News

Loophole discovered in WA quarantine requirements for international arrivals

Travellers looking to avoid hotel quarantine in Western Australia can now sneak in round the back. But why would you? Who doesn’t love the little shampoos and soaps they give you?

Share

CommentComments

News

Britain scraps all COVID travel tests for UK entry

Travellers to the UK will no longer be greeted with a PCR test shoved up their nose, just the usual array of commotion and disarray that we all miss about travelling.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

BREAKING: Intrepid grows US tours by 400 per cent with new acquisition

The tour operator has been busy using its downtime to accelerate investment in this massively popular sector.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Travel Agents

Travel agents’ national day of action highlights cruise industry struggle

Travel agents took to the streets earlier this week, just like they did in the ’60s but with far less groovy outfits, little to no Jimi Hendrix music, and not a ‘jazz cigarette’ in sight.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid employees given choice to work on public holiday, Natalie Kidd explains why

As many Australian’s took to the streets yesterday, in both protest and celebration, a few companies chose a different approach: business as usual. Here’s why.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Spritz of Australia: Qantas gets its own signature cocktail

The national carrier now has a delicious spritz available on its overseas flights, just in case you’re looking for a new way to get hammered at 36,000 feet.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Accor appoints new Pacific boss, announces massive openings for 2022

Sarah Derry will take the helm as the hotel giant prepares for three major openings in the Pacific, so no pressure or anything.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

“Abducted by luxurious pirates!” Crystal Cruises ship heads to Bahamas after US issues arrest warrant

The Crystal Symphony is channelling its inner OJ Simpson by running from the law. Unfortunately the cruise ship doesn’t have Al Cowlings by its side to keep it going.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

United Airlines flight turned back after passengers start a “riot”

These two unruly passengers decided “if I can’t have business class seats, then no one can have business class seats!”

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Scoot to resume Singapore-Gold Coast flights in February

Ready your wallets, because this may be one of the more expensive Valentine’s Days with a spontaneous venture to south-east Asia.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Travel workers stage national day of action urging politicians to introduce AFTA’s recovery package

Travel industry folk across the country are participating in a National Travel Day of Action outside the offices of key federal and state parliamentarians today to speak up about the industry’s unique struggle.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Club Med’s Pacific boss speak out against WA’s delayed reopening

The kings of the all-inclusive holidays have signalled their support for WA’s travel agent community, blowing a big raspberry in Premier McGowan’s direction.

Share

CommentComments