300-year-old Maui petroglyphs hit with paintballs in apparent vandalism
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An important cultural site on the island of Maui was vandalized, according to local and state officials.
They say an unknown person fired paintballs at a cliff in Olowalu Valley, known as Pu’u Kilea. The rocky cliffside is home to about 100 ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs estimated to be about 300 years old.
The DLNR provided photos of the apparent vandalism. From afar, the paintballs used look like bird droppings, however officials say it was no accident of nature, and charges of criminal property damage and civil penalties could be filed against the person responsible.
DOCARE officers were notified about the vandalism last Tuesday.
“I would guess several hundred paintballs were shot at this historical site,” said DOCARE Lt. John Yamamoto. “White and yellow splotches of paint are spread across nearly the entire cliff face from the top to the base and from one side to the other. A great battle happened in this ahupuaʻa and it’s hurtful to see this kind of disrespect for our culture,” he added.
He added the act appeared random and the paintball gun was likely fired from down on the road.
The historic artwork includes images of humans, animals, canoes and sails.
This isn’t the first time the historic site has been targeted. In previous years, the DLNR says someone tagged the cliffside with graffiti.
“The significance of it all, it’s just sad to see. I don’t know if the perpetrator or the responsible knew, but it sure would be nice to talk to the person, whoever did it,” Yamamoto added.
Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to call the DLNR Maui office at 873- 3990.
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