Friday, 28 March 2008 3:24 AM

Tourist Damages Rapa Nui Moai

Chilean police are holding a tourist from Finland who was caught damaging one of the famous giant statues of Rapa Nui.

According to a report by Radio New Zealand International, the Finnish tourist was caught by local residents as he tried to take a piece for souvenir.

Details from the New York Times state that the man broke off a piece of the earlobe of the moai and then tried to flee with one of the pieces. The man could face seven years in prison if convicted under the law protecting national monuments.

Rapa Nui or Easter Island as it is also known is a Polynesian island under the territory of Chile and it is a world heritage site. The moais that stand proudly on the island are giant statues carved from rock with the tallest standing at about 10 meters.