A wildfire in the Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island caused “irreparable” damage to several of the island’s iconic statues on Monday, October 3, local authorities said.
The statues, known as moai, were carved more than 500 years ago by Polynesian tribespeople.
The Municipality of Rapa Nui said that a shortage of volunteers made it difficult to control the fire, which then spread to one of the major archaeological sites on the island, where about 30 of the statues are found.
The site was closed for visitation on Wednesday to allow a Conservation Department team to assess the damage. Credit: Municipality of Rapa Nui via Storyful