Natural Treasures Damaged in North Iceland

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Natural Treasures Damaged in North Iceland

Damages have been caused to the lava cave Grjótagjá and crater Hverfjall in the Mývatn area in Northeast Iceland, both of which are popular tourist destinations. Letters were painted inside Karlagjá in Grjótagjá and on the rim of Hverfjall.

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Hverfjall in the Mývatn area. Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

The police in Húsavík are investigating the vandalism. Inspector Hreiðar Hreiðarsson described it to ruv.is as bizarre as it must have taken considerable time and effort. “I mainly find it strange. A very peculiar motive must be behind it.”

According to akureyrivikublad.is, the letters on Hverfjall, which read ‘CRATER,’ are 17 meters tall. The letters inside Karlagjá, spelling ‘CAVE,’ measure 90 centimeters.

Especially the vandalism on Hverfjall appears to have taken a long time to execute. Locals believe that a high pressure hose and many liters of paint were required.

Grjótagjá is the responsibility of local landowners and they will try to have the letters there removed with a high-pressure pump.

The Environment Agency of Iceland is responsible for Hverfjall, which is under protection, and the agency has yet to respond to the vandalism.

Ólöf Þ. Hallgrímsdóttir, who runs the farm and guesthouse Vogafjós, told ruv.is that she finds it sad that people travel the country with the purpose of causing damage to it.

Anyone who might have information about the vandalism is asked to contact the police in Húsavík, Tel: (+354) 444-2850.

Jóhann Kristjánsson, one of the landowners in the area, stated that if the perpetrators come forward they will get the privilege of helping with removing the letters. They may even get a lunch bag, he added.

ESA