10 Historical Artifacts Destroyed Due to Human Stupidity

(ORDO NEWS) — There is no excuse for the destruction of history – and yet, we see it all the time. And we are talking not only about terrorists purposefully blowing up ancient cultural monuments. Many of the most valuable artifacts were destroyed by accident, due to banal ignorance and stupidity…

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In the area of ​​​​the largest reservoir in the United States – Lake Mead – there are sacred monuments of the Indian tribes who lived there. They are registered on the US National Register of Historic Places. In 2010, a vandal used a paintball gun to paint over the rock art. He was arrested, sentenced to a year in prison, a $10,000 fine, and 50 hours of community service.

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In 2013, a scandal erupted in Belize – the bulldozers of a local construction company half demolished a 2,300-year-old Mayan temple. They dug up limestone and by the time the information was leaked to the press, the ancient pyramid was already half destroyed. Vandalism was stopped, but the cultural monument suffered terribly.

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It is hard to steal rock art, but once such an attempt was made. In 2014 in Spain, in a cave in the Santa Elena National Park, a group of unidentified people tried to cut off a piece of rock along with an ancient drawing. Alas, this only led to the fact that the stone was crushed, destroying part of the rock art.

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Elgin marble is a collection of ancient Greek art, mainly from the Acropolis of Athens, brought to England in the early 19th century by Lord Elgin and kept in the British Museum. Unfortunately, an unprofessional attempt to clean the marble with nitric acid in 1845 and 1930 caused considerable damage to the priceless collection.

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Offa’s Wall is an earthwork built in the 8th century to separate the kingdoms of Mercia and Powys. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site among other walls of the world such as the Great Wall of China. In 2013, a local resident destroyed a significant part of the rampart with a bulldozer and was arrested.

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The Flavian Amphitheater, better known as the Colosseum, is carefully guarded against serious vandalism, but minor vandalism is not always prevented. Tourists love to paint inscriptions like “Vasya was here” on ancient walls, and then take selfies against their background – more and more often in recent years. Neither warning signs nor a real chance of going to jail stop them.

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The self-taught German archaeologist of the 19th century, Heinrich Schliemann, became famous for his significant finds in Asia Minor, in the Peloponnese, as well as at the site of the famous ancient Troy. But when trying to dig up the city sung by Homer, Schliemann made a number of serious mistakes and destroyed part of the ruins due to haste and incompetence.

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Sometimes the scale of vandalism is not as great as the destruction of ancient temples, but still amazing. A family from London in 2008 bought a Chinese vase at a sale … which turned out to be an artifact of the Qing Empire. The family, unknowingly, made a table lamp out of it. It was only many years later that the vase was identified, but due to a drilled hole in the bottom, its value fell from 50,000 euros to 5.

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In 2007, 1,800-year-old tombs were completely destroyed in an attempt to clear a site for an IKEA store in China. In 2013, the situation repeated itself during the construction of the metro, and an archaeological expedition was on the site of ancient burials.

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The American flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1815 is considered one of the most valuable artifacts of the United States. But during storage, he was badly damaged, being partially cut into pieces for everyone. Only in 1912 was it handed over to the Smithsonian Institution, where the flag could be restored.

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