Restorative justice

I’ve been watching the Easter Island theft story with interest for a while but it’s only with this latest development that it’s become truly bizarre.

I do not want to trivialise this man’s vandalism, which is completely wrong and unacceptable. However, I am still irresistibly reminded of Bethselamin, that fabulously beautiful planet mentioned in Douglas Adams’ Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where the activities of billions of tourists each year were causing an erosion crisis. As a result, the solution of the planet’s government was to remove any net imbalance between the amount of matter eaten and the amount subsequently excreted through amputative surgery. Thus, as you will surely recall, it was vitally important to get a receipt after every trip to the lavatory while on the planet.

Maybe a reminder of this would serve to stop other people pinching bits of priceless cultural artefacts… This account is from The Independent:

Easter Island mayor wants an ‘ear for an ear’ from vandal

The mayor of Easter Island said yesterday that he wished the Finnish tourist who is accused of chipping an earlobe off an ancient Moai could have his ear clipped off as “justice” for damaging one of the famous statues.

Marko Kulju, 26, issued a public apology through a Chilean newspaper yesterday, saying he regretted the incident that caused such an uproar on the South Pacific island, a Chilean territory. It was not known if Mayor Pedro Edmunds Paoa had read the published apology.

“If an ear is cut off, then an ear gets cut,” Mr Edmunds Paoa said in a radio interview. “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth: That would be my form of justice.” Read full article here…