Finn fined for mutilating moai statue
Finn fined for mutilating moai statue on Easter Island
A Finnish tourist visiting Easter Island has been fined $17,000 for chipping an ear off a famous statue and barred for three years.
Marko Kulju, 26, paid the fine and wrote a public apology for damaging one of the precious statues protected under Chilean law, calling his attempt to steal the ear the worst mistake of his life.
Kulju narrowly escaped seven years in prison for his action after being seen chipping off the earlobe, which then fell and broke into pieces.
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.
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