Chad cave paintings at world heritage site defaced

Cave paintings at a UNESCO world heritage site in Chad have been defaced by unknown vandals, the central African nation's culture minister told AFP on Sunday. The cave paintings are located at Archei in the stunning landscape of the sandstone Ennedi Plateau in northeast Chad, which is near the border with Sudan. "We discovered inscriptions left by some visitors. They wrote on top of the cave paintings," said the minister Mahamat Saleh Haroun, also a Chadian filmmaker. The natural and cultural landscape of the Ennedi Massif was declared a world heritage last year by the UN cultural agency UNESCO. The writing consists of "some names" of visitors and the last messages date from January of this year, said Haroun who has seen photos of the damage. Most of the cave paintings date from 4,000 years ago and depict some figures and animals like giraffes, according to UNESCO. "Thousands of images have been painted and carved

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