Friday, June 09, 2006

No Picassos

Far from it, it seems.

The Associated Press reports spray-painting vandals damaged ancient Indian rock art at McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. Officials said saving the images could be difficult.

Blue, white and black graffiti was discovered last weekend and was done between May 30 and June 4, the Bureau of Land Management said. The BLM administers the area, about 10 miles west of Grand Junction on the Utah border.

Desert sandstone quickly absorbs paint, making it difficult to remove.

“I guess there are products that are recommended that should be able to remove most of the paint, but not all of it,” BLM spokesman Mel Lloyd said.

Acting McInnis Canyons manager Gene Arnesen said the vandalism was offensive and costly.

“Using rock art panels for senseless graffiti not only offends Native Americans and robs the American public of cultural treasures, but it also creates an unnecessary cost to taxpayers for removing the paint.”

(The BLM photo shows Pollock Bench/Rattlesnake Canyon in the conservation area)

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