Monday, August 27, 2007

The Ugly European

By Cernig

Americans might feel somewhat vindicated to have it confirmed that we Europeans, forever talking about "Ugly Americans" on vacation in Europe, can be just as crass, destructive, unheeding of history and, to be blunt, assholes.
European diplomats in four-wheel drive cars have caused millions of dollars worth of damage to a fossilised whale lying for millions of years in the Egyptian desert, a security source said on Sunday.

"Whale Valley officials have informed the authorities that people from two diplomatic corps vehicles destroyed the fossil," the source told AFP after the destruction was discovered around 150 kilometres (95 miles) south of Cairo.

Two cars drove into the protected area on Friday and then refused to stop when asked to do so by wardens who nevertheless got the vehicles' registration numbers which the source said were from "a European country."

"The damage is more than 10 million dollars," the source said.

The site, known as Wadi Hitan (Whale Valley), was home to whales around 40 million years ago when the area was ocean. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to hundreds of of whale fossils.
I have heard two American tourists on the battlements of Stirling Castle remark that the floodlighting rigging spoiled "the illusion of age". But that blithe ignorance pales into inconsequentiality in comparison with such uncaring vandalism of history. I hope the European country involved issues a massive public apology and firing of the vandals with all due haste.

(Can you tell this story ticked me off?)

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