Monday, June 18, 2007

Deseret News reports that petroglyphs have been damaged by gun shots. More than 35 shots have caused irreperable damage to rock art in the Fillmore area of Utah in the U.S..

The petroglyph vandalism was discovered earlier this week by a group of contractors taking inventory of archaeological sites in the area. The rock art is believed to be thousands of years old and had been untouched until May 2007, the BLM said.

The area is popular, BLM archaeologist Misti Haines said Friday. "These are things the Boy Scouts like to come out and visit. We have some very passionate volunteer groups, they come out to our area almost every year. They help us record these sites," she said. The damage is irreparable, Haines said.

However, the BLM will take steps to make the damage less apparent. A professional rock art conservator will be "inpainting" the damaged panels. "It's a very specialized skill," Haines said. "They take a special palette of colors out, they go to the art and fill in visually the missing gaps."

The BLM is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals.