Activists with the environmental group Greenpeace are under fire for entering an ancient Peruvian historical site to place signs calling for climate policies.
The activists entered the closed-off section of south Peru’s desert this week, leaving footprints in the area as they left a banner and signs near 1,500-year-old carvings, BBC News reported.
Greenpeace staged the protest as world leaders in the United Nations meet to work out an international agreement to fight climate change.
“Time for change! The future is renewable,” said one of the signs, stuck next to a carved figure of a hummingbird, a part of the Nazca Lines site.
“It’s a true slap in the face at everything Peruvians consider sacred,'” Deputy Culture Minister Luis Jaime Castillo told BBC.
Even high-ranking government officials must get permission to enter the section of arid plain that contains the ancient carvings, and must use special footwear to avoid leaving prints.
But the environmental activists went in with no special permission.
Greenpeace quickly apologized and pledged to speak with Peruvian officials about the issues.
“Without reservation Greenpeace apologises to the people of Peru for the offence caused,” the group said in a statement to BBC.
“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.”