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Peru fire ravages ancient archaeological site

A fire destroyed a 2,000-year-old mural and much of the vestiges of an archaeological site in northern Peru on Sunday, the director of the Tumbas Reales de Sipan Museum said.

Peru fire ravages ancient archaeological site
Smoke hangs over the scene of a fire at the VentarrĂ³n archaeological complex in Peru. An ancient mural believed 
to be the oldest ever discovered in the Americas was destroyed by the blaze [Credit: Ignacio Alva/CNN]
"I have received the lamentable and tragic news of a fire that has destroyed the archaeological monument of Ventarron," museum head Walter Alva said in a statement.

The temple of Ventarron dates back 4,500 years and is considered the oldest discovered in the Americas.

Peru fire ravages ancient archaeological site
The photo shows the mural before the fire spread through the archaeological complex [Credit: AFP]
The fire devastated the ancient mural as well as pottery vessels and records of the Ventarron Archaeological Comoplex in Pomalca, in the Lambayeque region, television images showed.

Workers from the Pomalca agribusiness company triggered the blaze when they ignited a sugarcane field.

"We are losing an exceptional monument unique to its generation," said Alva, who discovered the site in 2007. "I hope there is an investigation and responsibility established."

"I can only express my outrage and sadness for this irreparable loss."

Firefighters said the fire is 95 percent controlled.

Prosecutors have gone to the area to assess the liability of Pomalca administrators.

Source: AFP [November 13, 2017]

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