December 11, 2014 / 1:55 AM / 5 years ago

Greenpeace apologizes for protest at Peru's Nazca Lines

LIMA (Reuters) - Environmental activist group Greenpeace apologized on Wednesday for a protest it organized at the ancient Nazca Lines etched in a desert in Peru.

The group said it was sorry if the protest at the historical site on Monday caused any “moral offense” to the people of Peru.

The activists placed giant letters in the soil close to the figure of a hummingbird, saying “time for change, the future is renewable.” The message was intended to pressure negotiators at the UN climate talks happening in Lima.

The Nazca Lines are a set of giant images of plants and animals, such as a monkey, a spider and a hummingbird, excavated in the soil some 1,500 years ago.

The designs can only be fully seen from high altitude, which is a source of diverse theories about how ancient cultures could have made them.

The Peruvian government tries to have strict control over visits to the site, considered vulnerable.

It said it would open a criminal investigation into the incident and would try to prevent that activists who participated in the protest from leaving the country.

Greenpeace said it would collaborate with the government to assess if any damage was done to the site and that it would cease to use photos it took as part of its campaigns.

It also said its Executive Director Kumi Naidoo would come to Lima this week to apologize in person to the Peruvian government.

Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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