Peru’s iconic Nazca Lines were damaged last weekend when a truck driver ignored warning signs and drove over the ancient geoglyphs which some researchers believe date back to 500 BC.
According to CNN, 40-year old Jainer Jesus Flores Vigo was arrested for damaging the UNESCO World Heritage site but was eventually released by a magistrate because there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the damage was intentional. However, NPR says a local publication is reporting the Nazca’s prosecutor’s office is appealing the decision and was seeking nine months of detention as well as a fine of $1,550.
Peru’s Ministry of Culture says the incident occured at approximately 6 pm local time on Saturday, January 27th and the driver was detained by the National Police of Peru about three hours later. Following an investigation the next day, the Ministry confirmed the truck left “deep tracks” in an area that measures 50 x 100 meters (164 x 328 feet). Unfortunately, this affected three different geoglyphs and damaged the surface of the site.
While the damage is unfortunate, reports have suggested the driver was unfamiliar with the area and may have left the roadway due to mechanical problems. That remains to be seen and so do claims that the driver might have exited the Pan-American Highway to avoid paying a toll.