Ruh-Roh: Easter Island Moai Statue Destroyed by Truck

Somebody is in deep doo-doo!

source: CNN Travel

One of Easter Island‘s world-famous moai statues has been destroyed in an accident.

A Chilean island resident was arrested on March 1 after his truck — a private vehicle, not a commercial one — crashed into one of the stone figures and badly damaged both it and the ahu, or platform, it was perched on.

Local authorities believe that the accident was caused by brake failure that caused his truck to slide downhill.

On the island, which is known as Hanga Roa by its native Rapa Nui people, the enormous stone heads called moai have long been a source of intrigue and wonder.

“The damage is incalculable.”

Camilo Rapu
Easter Island Big Wig

The island’s mayor, Pedro Pablo Petero Edmunds Paoa, is calling for stricter regulations that will prohibit vehicles from driving near the 1,000-odd moai on the UNESCO World Heritage-listed island.

Edmunds Paoa tried to pass an anti-driving measure eight years ago, he told Chilean newspaper El Mercurio de Valparaíso, with no effect. He believes that this week’s accident could be the motivating factor to consider re-introducing the proposal.

“The Moai are sacred structures of religious value for the Rapa Nui people……….Furthermore, [the damage of the moai] is an offense to a culture that has lived many years struggling to recover its heritage and archaeology.”

Camilo Rapu
Easter Island Big Wig

Easter Island, a Polynesian island that is a territory of Chile, has long struggled to balance its status as a bucket list travel destination with the local Rapa Nui people’s desire to protect their heritage.

The moai statues represent ancestral figures and may have also been ways to show where fresh water sources were located.

Easter Island Moai Statue Destroyed by Truck

Calamity Jane