Saturday, May 30, 2015Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mayan temple damaged in tourist 'apocalypse' frenzy

Published on Dec 24, 2012 6:21 AM
Guatemalan natives and visitors take part in a ceremony on Dec 21, 2012, celebrating the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age, at the Tikal archaeological site, Peten departament, 560km north of Guatemala City. -- PHOTO: AFP

GUATEMALA CITY (AFP) - Tourists flocking to Guatemala for "end of the world" parties have damaged an ancient stone temple at Tikal, the largest archeological site and urban centre of the Mayan civilisation.

"Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage," said Mr Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site, which is located some 550km north of Guatemala City.

"We are fine with the celebration, but (the tourists) should be more aware because this is a (Unesco) World Heritage Site," he told local media.

Mr Gomez did not specify what was done, although he did say it was forbidden to climb the stairs at the site and indicated that the damage was irreparable.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!