Cusco’s famed Twelve Angle Stone was vandalized over the weekend, the latest piece of an Inca wall to be defaced in recent weeks.
The Twelve Angle Stone, located a few blocks from Cusco’s central plaza on a popular walkway, was spray painted early Sunday morning. At 3:26 a.m., a surveillance camera caught an individual painting the letters JHR in a reddish-brown paint on the surface of the Inca wall. The video was posted on the website of daily La Republica.
The stone, as an example of the Inca’s advance stonework, is a popular tourist attraction in Cusco and a site of pride for many locals. The perfectly cut stone is part of a wall known as the Hatun Rumiyoc, which makes up the outside of the Archbishop’s palace.
The office of culture in Cusco has closed off the walkway where the Hatun Rumiyoc is located and started to clean the spray paint off the stone.
Several other stonework made by the Incas in Cusco, which was the capital of the empire in the 15th and early 16th centuries, have been defaced recently with initials and logos of soccer teams spray painted on to the ancient walls.
The director of the culture office, Ricardo Ruiz, said the solution to the vandalism is to increase the appreciation for the city’s cultural heritage. “This can be controlled when each one of us is watching over our cultural heritage,” he said.
Cusco’s central area is a UNESCO World Heritage Center. The city is a popular tourist attraction for the hundreds of thousands of national and international visitors that visit the nearby Machu Picchu ruins every year.