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Cave near Mývatn Vandalized

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Cave near Mývatn Vandalized

Grjótagjá.

Grjótagjá cave. The letters can be seen in the upper right corner. Photo: Hörður Jónasson/Facebook.

Large letters have been painted on the wall of Grjótagjá cave, near Mývatn lake, RÚV reports. A traveler published a photo of the vandalism on the Facebook page of people in the tourism industry, Bakland ferðaþjónustunnar.

The letters form the name Þór S, which is likely the name of the culprit. It is not know how long ago the letters were painted. Graffiti in nature is illegal, according to environmental law, and violators are subject to fines or a prison sentence.

Grjótagjá is a lava cave with a warm spring inside. The place used to be a popular bathing site in the seventies, but following volcanic activity near Krafla 1975-1984, the water became too hot for bathing. Today, the cave is visited by numerous tourists, most of whom dip their hands into the spring, although its temperature has cooled enough in certain places to make bathing possible.

This is not the first time Grjótagjá is vandalized. In 2013, large letters were painted on its walls, forming the word CAVE. At the same time, two other natural pearls by Mývatn were vandalized in a similar way. Pictures of that vandalism were part of an art show by German artist Julian von Bismarck in Berlin. He insisted the words were painted in cooperation with unnamed artists in Iceland.

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