Finnish tourist gets punishment after vandalizing Easter Island statue


HELSINKI – A Finnish tourist who vandalized a Moai statue on Easter Island was fined about 10,000 euros (15,700 U.S. dollars) and banned from entering the island for three years by a Chilean court, the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reported on Monday.

The 26-year-old Finnish man was also compelled to make a public apology for his action in front of the court, said the newspaper.

The Chilean Office for the Protection of National Monuments thought that the punishment was excessively lenient, said it. But the Finnish newspaper said the fine was the biggest that the local Chilean court has ever imposed for a similar offense.

“The Finnish tourist should have been given a prison sentence. It would have been a warning to other travelers”, the newspaper quoted the director of the office, Oscar Acuna as saying.

The young man broke off a piece of the ear of a protected Moai statue on Easter Island last month. He was later arrested by local Chilean police.