South Australian officials have been criticized for failing to protect Koonalda Cave, which was previously vandalized
Kyam Maher, the state’s Aboriginal affairs minister and attorney general, told local media on Wednesday that trespassers had damaged a unique piece of sacred art in South Korea’s Koonalda Caves. Australia by drawing on it with their fingers.heavy penalty” for unidentified vandals.
Dating back some 30,000 years, the art includes “some of the earliest evidence of Aboriginal occupation in that part of the country,” according to Maher.
The graffiti that reads “don’t look now, but this is a cave of death“leave artwork”unrecoverable,” archaeologist Dr Keryn Walshe told The Guardian. “The cave surface is very soft. Graffiti cannot be removed without destroying the art underneath.”
Vandals are believed to have removed portions of the site’s fence to get underneath and into the cave, a protected national heritage site since 2014.This is not some sort of random shuffle,” Maher said. “This is the guy who purposely went through the fence, the barbed wire fence and went in and destroyed this.”
Maher announced it would increase penalties for violations of the state’s Aboriginal heritage protection laws, which currently carry sentences of up to six months in prison or a $10,000 fine. The government is also considering installing a live video surveillance system and has consulted with him adding, the indigenous Mirning people, who consider the cave sacred, to improve security.
However, for some, this is too little, too late. Walshe points out that the fence has become “inadequate” for the past four decades, allowing previous vandals to gain access, against Maher’s insistence that it suffices to deter most impending trespassers.
“Failure to build effective gates, failure to take advantage of modern security services… in many ways facilitated this vandalism.,” Dr Clare Buswell, chair of the Australian Speleological Federation’s Conservation Committee, told the parliamentary standing committee on Aboriginal lands in July – a month after the government was first notified of the case. vandalism has occurred.
“It was a deliberate, ingrained act that damaged the artwork, and nothing has been done since then to protect the site, so this may continue until some sort of protection is in place. Setting,” she speaks. “Simply not good enough for the minister to say, well, we’ll just increase the amount of fines or other punitive actions..”
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