Waiting for a Facelift


A view of "Moai" statues in Ahu Akivi, on Easter Island, 4,000
km (2486 miles) west of Santiago, in this photo taken October 31, 2003.
Easter Island’s mysterious "Moai", giant head statues carved
out of volcanic rock, are in danger of being destroyed by years of tropical
rains and wind as well as careless humans and farms animals. Experts have
called on the international community to commit funds to preserve the monoliths,
whose mystery draws tourists to the world?s most remote inhabited island.

Caretakers of the cracked and crumbling Moai fret that a piece of history
is deteriorating before their eyes.

"Something must be done immediately. If the Moai are destroyed, the island
is destroyed because without tourism this island is nothing," said
Rapa Nui expert Francesco Di Castri, former deputy director of the U.N.
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and former
president of the World Science Institute.


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