Vandals have etched their names next to various geoglyphs which comprise Peru’s Nazca Lines.
New photos show the words “Artist: Luis Tadeo” above the pelican geoglyph. An archaeologist with the state agency tasked with preserving the Nazca Lines told El Comercio that the man has been signing his name in the area for years.
“In recent years this Mr. Luis Tadeo, who I don’t know if with the idea of publicizing his name, has been writing on the hillsides. We have reported him because it has reached the geoglyph areas,” said Johnny Isla. “As an investigator, I contacted Luis Tadeo five or six years ago. He promised not to do any more. We have been looking for him in Nazca, but nobody knows where he is.”
Isla says there are several other names and even political parties written in the area. Informal shantytown neighborhoods are moving closer to the 2,500-year-old geoglyphs.
In December the international environmental organization Greenpeace placed a banner next to the popular hummingbird geoglyph in a publicity stunt during the United Nations climate change conference held in Lima. Greenpeace apologized for the damage done to the desert floor and Peru has tried to charge the organizers who placed the banner.
The Nazca Lines were created between 400 B.C. and 600 A.D. by the Nazca culture. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and Peru’s sixth most-visited tourist destination, the Nazca Lines attracted over 160,000 tourists in 2013. Visitors view the images from small planes flying over the 170 square-mile region where the geoglyphs were carved.