Foreigners vandalize Olmec sculptures in Tabasco

A total of 15 archaeological pieces were damaged by two Indonesian tourists at the La Venta Museum
Foreigners vandalize Olmec sculptures in Tabasco
The monumental Olmec head known as "The Old Warrior" was also sprayed on January 2009 - Photo: Jaime Ávalos/EFE
05/10/2018
15:49
Leobardo Pérez Marín / Corresponsal
Mexico City
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A total of 15 archaeological pieces, including an original Olmec head from the La Venta Museum and Park, were damaged by two Indonesian citizens, which is why the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) decided to thoroughly revise each piece in order to determine the seriousness of the vandalism.

According to museum authorities, based on video footage of the event, the foreigners were walking through the archaeological zone in the park’s facility. During their tour, they sprayed the pieces with liquid oil. One of the damaged monuments was a colossal Olmec head known as “The Old Warrior.” Other pieces, such as the basalt columns “The Throne,” “The Grandmother,” “The Unfinished,” “The Quadrangular Altar,” “The Altar of Children,” “The Governor,” “The Altar of Tecolotes,” and “Monkey Gazing into Heaven,” among others that date back to 1,000 BC and are part of the La Venta Museum’s permanent exhibition, which was created by the American poet Carlos Pellicer Cámara, were also damaged.

In face of these events and the surveillance staff’s call for help, the Secretariat of Public Security sent several police elements who managed to detain suspects Alexander “N,” aged 40, and Abraham “N,” aged 28. Both foreigners were brought before the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to determine their legal situation.

Juan Antonio Ferrer Aguilar, a delegate from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), claimed that the pieces would continue to be displayed for public view, but the museum’s security will have to be modified so that such an event never happens again.
 

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