Easter Island moai statues damaged after massive fire

– /AFP This photo distributed by the Municipality of Rapa Nui shows Moais, stone statues of the Rapa Nui culture, affected by a fire in the Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island, Chile, on October 6, 2022. (Photo by the Municipality de Rapa Nui / AFP ) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “PHOTO AFP / RAPANUI MUNICIPALITY” – NO MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A CUSTOMER SERVICE

– /AFP

The iconic statues of Easter Island seriously damaged after a violent fire

INTERNATIONAL – Disaster on Easter Island. A fire caused “irreparable” damage to the emblematic moai, monumental figures carved in stone. The fire has devastated part of the island included in the Rapa Nui National Park since Monday, in more than 100 hectares, according to a press release released by The Guardian This Friday, October 7.

Carolina Pérez, undersecretary for cultural heritage, said that on the island 3,500km off Chile’s west coast, the area around the Rano Raraku volcano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, would have been the hardest hit.

As the British media recall, Rapa Nui has more than 1,000 statues, these famous giant heads that would have been sculpted for the first time in the 13th century by the first inhabitants of the island. Several hundred of them are said to be in the fire-ravaged area.

a fire that it was not an accident »

With the guardianAriki Tepano, director of the Ma’u Henua community in charge of managing and maintaining the park, described the damage as“irreparable”. “The moai are totally burned and the effect of the fire is noticeable in them”declared.

According to the mayor of Easter Island, Pedro Edmunds Paoa, the fire would not be “it is not an accident”, because “all the fires in Rapa Nui are caused by human beings”. He further added that “theFire damage cannot be repaired. The cracking of an original and iconic stone cannot be recovered, no matter how many millions of euros or dollars are invested in it”. The total damage to the site has not yet been assessed.

This photo distributed by the Municipality of Rapa Nui shows Moais, stone statues of the Rapa Nui culture, affected by a fire in the Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island, Chile, on October 6, 2022. (Photo by the Municipality de Rapa Nui / AFP ) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT
– /AFP This photo distributed by the Municipality of Rapa Nui shows Moais, stone statues of the Rapa Nui culture, affected by a fire in the Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island, Chile, on October 6, 2022. (Photo by the Municipality de Rapa Nui / AFP ) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “PHOTO AFP / RAPANUI MUNICIPALITY” – NO MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A CUSTOMER SERVICE

– /AFP

The iconic statues of Easter Island seriously damaged after a violent fire

According to the national park press release, the fire could have easily spread in front of a “shortage of volunteers” to control the fire.

The fire occurs just three months after the island reopened to tourism on August 5, after two years of closure due to Covid-19.

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