Greenpeace Defaced The 2000 Year Old Nazca Lines for Publicity Stunt

Nasca Lines defaced by Greenpeace. Image: AP
Nasca Lines defaced by Greenpeace. Image: AP

Greenpeace activists felt the best way to get their message out was to destroy the Nazca Lines in Peru, a 2,000 year old World Heritage Site? What the…?

Greenpeace, an organization that claims they “defend the natural world and promote peace by investigating, exposing, and confronting environmental abuse, championing environmentally responsible solutions, and advocating for the rights and well-being of all people,” pulled a publicity stunt that has irreparably damaged the Nazca Lines in Peru.

It turns out that they’re not Eco-Champions. They’re Eco-Idiots.

Greenpeace activists entered a prohibited area beside the figure of the hummingbird–one of Nazca’s most recognizable designs–and laid out big yellow cloth letters reading: “Time for Change; The Future is Renewable. Greenpeace.”

At no point during the planning, implementation, or installation of the massive letters did anyone in Greenpeace stop and say, “hey, this might not be a good idea.”

The Nazca lines are massive lines carved into the ground that form incredible designs that can only be seen from the air. Created between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago, the pictographs are believed to have had ritual functions.

Greenpeace activists in Peru. AP
Greenpeace activists in Peru. AP

“They 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,” Peru’s Deputy Culture Minister Luis Jaime Castillo told the Associated Press. “And the line that they have destroyed is the most visible and most recognized of all.”

Peru is pretty unhappy with Greenpeace right now. They are trying to detain the activists in the country while prosecutors to file charges of “attacking archaeological monuments.” The crime carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison.

Earlier this week Greenpeace said that they were “really, really sorry” for the stunt, but I don’t think that’s good enough. What’s next Greenpeace? Spray paint the Great Wall of China? Tear down the Great Pyramid in Egypt to put up a billboard?


While this publicity garbage is part of Greenpeace’s regular M.O., they damaged a 2,000 year old archaeological site. I firmly believe that the activists who placed the message in Peru and those who designed the stunt should all be charged and sent to prison. The archaeological site in Peru is exceptionally fragile, and researchers will admit that they don’t fully understand why the lines were created.

Greenpeace willingly defaced an archaeological site and a World Heritage Site. This is inexcusable. I am deeply saddened and angered by Greenpeace’s actions in Peru.

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