Wry Exchange

Who Tries to Steal a Moai?
03-29-08, 12:31 am
Filed under: Culture, Home | Tags: ,

 Can you imagine damaging a world treasure?  I loved seeing Stonehenge, but I didn’t chip off a piece to take back home. What went through this idiot’s tiny mind?  “Wow.  Let’s see, I’ll impress my friends by taking a bit off a pyramid, the Colosseum, Taj Mahal, and one of China’s clay soldiers.   Future generations don’t matter, since I’ll be dead.  It’s all about meeeeeeeeeeeee.”
BBC Article-The authorities on Easter Island have detained a Finnish tourist on suspicion of trying to steal an earlobe of one of the world-famous moai stone statues.
Police on the Pacific island, which is an overseas territory of Chile, said a woman had seen him rip off the earlobe, which then fell and broke into pieces.
Marko Kulju could face seven years in prison and a fine if convicted under laws protecting national monuments.
The statues of Polynesian ancestors are believed to be up to 1,000 years old.
There are nearly 900 moai on Easter Island, in various stages of construction, some of them more than 10m (33ft) tall and weighing more than 80 tons.
The island’s Rapa Nui National Park, in which the moai are situated, became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1995. Mr Kulju was visiting Anakena beach on Sunday when he was allegedly seen using his hands to tear off the earlobe of a 4m (13ft) high moai, Easter Island Police Chief Cristian Gonzalez told the Associated Press.
The earlobe then fell to the ground and broke into 20-30cm pieces, at least one of which Mr Kulju allegedly attempted to steal, Mr Gonzalez added.
“Fortunately, this type of thing does not happen every day but it does happen and it is almost impossible to control because on Easter Island there are sites of great archaeological value everywhere and the park guards cannot prevent all such incidents,” government official Liliana Castro said.  Authorities on the island are inspecting the statue to see if it can be repaired.
From BBC


3 Comments so far
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This countryman of mine has been lynched high. There were more column meters published on the death of Princess Diana than there were on the invasion at Normandy. Soon there will be columns on the massive Buddha statutes annihilated by the Taleban regime than column meters on this earlobe of the moai statute (1 out of 400-1000, the blood thirsty media does not even bother to check the number).

This countryman of mine has been lynched high. Ear off. 7 years in a South American prison. After this publicity, even a day in a South American jail would kill him.

And as I read the actual story behind the News from Congoo to Australia, it seems to me that he’s not proven to break it by purpose.

A high-octan, adrenaline addict adventurer climbs on a top of a high and sacred monument. Bad enough. The Finn brokes the ear of this fragile lava type of stone. Worse enough. My countryman tries to hide it and runs away. Worst enough. (OK, Oll Korrect, he confessed what happened later on.) But this does not prove him a thief though the whole globe would shout and shoot so!

It was the Easter week at the Easter Island. The same week the Finnish leaders of the Botnia pulp factory at the border river between Uruguay and Argentine were on trial in a South American court for “Planned damage”. After Finnish flags had been burnt in the streets of Argentine for 3 years for this biggest investment ever to the poor country of Uruguay. We have a classical scape goat and red herring here, it appears to me. Not every tattood boxer is suffering from Dementia pugilistica. In Finland we enjoy extreme sports, but the aim was not to vandalize it appears to me. So now we know we should prefer Tibet over the highest 22-meter Moai for climbing. That I want to apologize.

An outrageous mob wanting to lynch a man is an old scene, only the internet phenomenon is new. A raging mob behaves irrationally when it goes out to lynch. In AOL there are already over 3200 News comments on this (versus 5500 on the US presidential election campaign), 314000 votes, 52% would sentence him to de facto death in South American jail, without knowing whether it was an alleged theft or an accident from climbing. If it bleads, it leads.

Few FACTS about Finland
Finland has been the least corrupt country in the world in the transparency international throughout the 3rd millennium. In the OECD’s international assessment of student performance, PISA, Finland has consistently been among the highest scorers worldwide; in 2003, Finnish 15-year-olds came first in reading literacy, science, and mathematics; and second in problem solving, worldwide. The World Economic Forum ranks Finland’s tertiary education #1 in the world. In 1906, Finland became the first European nation (and one of the first in the world) to grant women the right to vote and run for parliament. Finland’s most famous company is Nokia, the world’s largest producer of mobile phones. Just 30 years ago, Nokia company was selling mainly tiers and rubber boots.The most famous Finnish person alive today is Linus Torvalds, who originated (and still maintains) Linux, the shareware free computer operating system. It has been embraced especially in the developing countries, instead of the commercial Microsoft Windows.

Pauli Ojala
PS. Another viewpoint on the hang-up party:

Comment by Natiivi

You mentioned Stonehenge. When I first visited, you could just walk it around inside it freely. Then over the years, bits started to go missing, so “they” introduced some guards and security arrangements. It was an unpopular move by the authorities, but what else could they have done?

Comment by zencath

A high-octan, adrenaline addict adventurer climbs on a top of a high and sacred monument. Bad enough. The Finn brokes the ear of this fragile lava type of stone. Worse enough. My countryman tries to hide it and runs away. Worst enough. (OK, Oll Korrect, he confessed what happened later on.)
Your point is? That it was ok to climb a moai? Of course people are angry. In a sense the Easter Island statues belong to the world. We are ALL responsible for safekeeping these treasures. The United Nations designated the Moai a ‘World Heritage Site.’

Comment by Wry

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