North African Youth Vandalize 8,000-Year-Old Rock Art

Vandals have been scribbling their names over the ancient rock art of Chad's Ennedi Plateau since January.
Rock Art Og

Tilman Lenssen-Erz/UNESCOSome of the art inscribed on the walls of the Ennedi Plateau in Chad.

Local youths in Chad have vandalized a series of 8,000-year-old rock paintings of the Ennedi Plateau.

Home to one of the most extensive displays of ancient rock art, according to Smithsonian, the Ennedi Plateau secured a place on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s World Heritage List last July.

However, that didn’t stop vandals from scribbling their names over the rock paintings, which depict both humans and animals in various scenes, in both French and Arabic repeatedly since this past January.

“It’s an African story, and they wanted to destroy that,” Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad’s cultural minister, told the BBC. “That’s why I’m talking about a tragedy because it’s part of us.”

“This is a part of our memory. It helps us to understand who we are,” said Haroun. “We cannot destroy it. If you don’t know your past, you cannot deal with the present.”

Thankfully, Abdelkerim Adoum Bahar, who represents the UN’s cultural organization in Chad, told the BBC that the experts currently on their way to the site may likely be able to repair the paintings.


Next, check out the 3,000-year-old Scottish weapons that archaeologists discovered underneath a soccer field, before finding out about the millions of dollars’ worth of stolen artifacts that the U.S. is receiving from Middle Eastern conflict zones.

Michael Gardiner
Staff Writer for All That Is Interesting based in Brooklyn. Send tips and hints to [email protected]
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