Public Relations

Greenpeace sorry for 'destroying' ancient Nazca lines in botched publicity stunt

By John McCarthy | Media editor



greenpeace article

December 11, 2014 | 3 min read

Greenpeace has apologised for trampling over Peru’s Nazca lines, one of the ancient world’s most hallowed and mysterious works, during an ill-fated sustainable energy protest.

Activists inflitrated the site to lay the message ‘Time for Change – The Future is renewable’ using yellow cloth to coincide with UN climate talks in Lima, in a move which offended many Peruvians who believe the lines are sacred.

The desert etchings are protected as a UN World Heritage site and is closed off to the public. Its few visitors have to wear specially-designed shoes so as to not disturb the landscape.

Greenpeace's message of sustainability backfired

The environmental protection movement issued an apology for the publicity stunt: “We fully understand that this looks bad. Rather than relay an urgent message of hope and possibility to the leaders gathering at the Lima UN climate talks, we came across as careless and crass.

“We take personal responsibility for actions, and are committed to nonviolence. Greenpeace is accountable for its activities and willing to face fair and reasonable consequences.”

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Dr Kumi Naidoo, the international executive director of Greenpeace, will travel to Lima this week to apologise for the offence caused by the act of accidental vandalism.

Luis Jaime Castillo, deputy culture minister of Peru, said: “The [lines] are absolutely fragile. They are black rocks on a white background. You walk there and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years. And the line that they have destroyed is the most visible and most recognized of all.”

Greenpeace also promised to stop using the offending images of the sullied Nazca lines.

Earlier this year, Greenpeace was engaged in a campaign against Lego's partnership with Shell which ultimately saw the Danish toy firm end the deal.

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