Crazy tourists stationed in Guatemala for “end of the world” parties have badly damaged an ancient stone temple at Tikal, essentially the biggest archaeological site and epicenter of Mayan civilization.
“Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage,” said Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site, located 340 miles north of Guatemala City.
“We are fine with the celebration, but the tourists should be more aware because this is a World Heritage Site,” he told local media.
Gomez wasn’t very vocal in terms of specifying what damage was done, but he said that it was irreparable.
The damaged temple is about 125 feet high, and is one of the sites most famous structures. Tikal was declared a World Heritage site in 1979.
Friday marked the end of an era that lasted 5,200 years, according to the Mayan “Long Count” calendar. Experts believed this was the Mayan’s prophecy- that the world would end on December 21st, 2012.
The world was supposed to end, but miraculously, we’re still here. More than 7,000 people visited Tikal on Friday to witness this madness-which included Mayan priests, colorful clothes, and large fires.
Cultural critics complained that the event was really for tourists and had little to do with the Mayans or authentic Mayan culture. Around 42 per cent of Guatemala’s 14.3 million residents are native Mayans, with most living in severe poverty.
Wentworth Jones | Elite.