Furious Peruvians Reject Greenpeace’s Apology for Unbelievable Stunt

The organization expressed a message of concern about climate change by marking a sacred ancient site.
(Photo: TheVerge/Twitter)
Dec 13, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Kristina Bravo is Assistant Editor at TakePart.

Drive less, recycle, go meatless on Mondays—there are many smart ways to help curb global warming. Placing a massive sign on an ancient site isn’t one of them.

Greenpeace activists drew the ire of Peru this week when they entered sacred ground and laid out yellow cloth spelling out “Time for Change! The Future Is Renewable.”

The message, intended for delegates attending the United Nations climate summit in Lima, was placed next to a hummingbird geoglyph (a large design formed on the ground). It’s part of the famous Nazca Lines, created by an ancient culture more than 1,000 years ago.

Greenpeace insisted in a statement on its Facebook page that no damage was done, but local officials, who are now considering pressing charges, assert otherwise. A video shows the activists treading across the desert, footsteps audible, in the dark:

“The hummingbird was in a pristine area, untouched,” Luis Jaime Castillo, vice minister for cultural heritage, told The New York Times. “A bad step, a heavy step, what it does is it marks the ground forever.”

The group apologized on its website on Thursday.

“We fully understand that this looks bad,” reads the statement. “Rather than relay an urgent message of hope and possibility to the leaders gathering at the Lima U.N. climate talks, we came across as careless and crass.”

According to the organization, members from Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Germany, and Italy took part in the stunt, and the letters from the site had been removed.

Peruvians, however, aren’t in a forgiving mood just yet.

“We are not ready to accept apologies from anybody,” said Castillo. “Let them apologize after they repair the damage.”

A team is currently assessing the area with a drone craft, but according to Castillo, nobody knows a way to reverse any damages.