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Stone steles vandalized in Tainan's historic park

Slabs were covered with unknown liquid, culprit not found

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The Forest Steles at Dananmen before vandalization. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

The Forest Steles at Dananmen before vandalization. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Sixty-two stone steles were found splashed with an unknown liquid that discolored them in Tainan’s Dananmen on Friday (Jan. 26), per CNA.

The Cultural Affairs Bureau (CAB) of the Tainan City Government went to the site to investigate, per UDN. They discovered that the old steles, some dating to the Qing period, were covered in an unknown liquid.

Historian Tseng Kuo-tung (曾國棟) said the stone slabs are cultural assets of Taiwan’s 400-year history. “I felt like my heart was cut by a knife,” he said, per Liberty Times.

Tseng also said that besides finding the culprit, the most important thing is to restore the steles as the liquid could cause further damage.

The CAB stated that this act falls under Article 103 of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act and laws related to damaging public property. The law states that destroying or damaging a monument is a penalty of up to NT$20,000,000 (US$640,625).

The Tainan 2nd Precinct has set up a task force to deal with the matter.