The Peruvian Ministry of Culture filed a lawsuit against the environment non-government organization (NGO) Greenpeace Tuesday, saying the group entered the zone of the Nazca lines, a United World Heritage site, in an “illegal, unconsulted, premeditated” manner.
In a statement, the Ministry expressed “indignation for what happened in the zone bordering the Hummingbird in the Lines of Nazca,” in the southern region of Ica, where Greenpeace activists entered Monday in order to stage a protest.
“In this zone, declared cultural patrimony of humanity, any type of intervention is strictly prohibited, given the how fragile the surroundings of the figures are,” added the Ministry, saying the environment activists had also damaged the area.
The director of the Decentralized Office of Culture in the region of Ica, Ana Maria Ortiz de Zevallos, told the Andina agency that her office is evaluating the possible damages caused to the site, which requires the use of special shoes in order not to leave prints.
According to her, about 20 Greenpeace activists are estimated to have participated in the action on early Monday morning. They wrote with previously cut-out yellow letters with the message "Time for change! The future is renewable," purportedly in a bid to remind the 195 countries' leaders present at the 20th United Nations Climate Change Summit (COP 20) in Lima of the importance of addressing climate change agreements.
The local association Maria Reiche, in charge if protecting and preserving the lines and hieroglyphs, released an aerial picture denouncing the damages and footprints left beside the figure of the hummingbird, one of the biggest hieroglyphs of the 1,500 years-old Nazca lines.
In a Facebook post, Greenpeace affirmed that the action did not cause any damage to the hieroglyphs, because they used letters made out of fabric and were advised by an archeologist. It also stated that the activists were from European countries like Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy, as well as from the region like Argentina, Chile and Brazil.