Tourists vandalize ancient ruins in Peru


LIMA, Peru — Visitors are increasingly vandalizing the ruins of Peru’s famed Sacsayhuaman fortress, leaving behind what authorities say is an unusual accumulation of graffiti from the likes of soccer fans and lovers.

Photos published Sunday in Peru’s El Comercio newspaper show the ancient ruins scrawled with “AL,” for the Alianza Lima soccer club, along with initials inside hearts and signatures scribbled in dark marker.

“Its sad that these things happen,” park director Washington Camacho was quoted saying by El Comercio.

“Our security covers 80 per cent of the park and we’re getting better at it but there is also a lack of respect” from visitors.

Park authorities said the graffiti is recent but did not specify why it has begun to accumulate. Camacho promised an investigation.

No one was available Sunday to confirm the report at the National Culture Institute, which administers the archeological site on a hill above the ancient Inca capital Cuzco.

Archaologists say Sacsayhuaman was built in the 1100s by the Killke culture and later enlarged during the Inca empire, which flourished from the 1400s until the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s.

Today, Cuzco is Peru’s main hub and a launching point for visitors to the jungle-shrouded ruins of Machu Picchu.

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