Mayan Temple Damaged During December 21 Apocalypse Party

By Amir Khan on December 28, 2012 2:58 PM EST

Mayan Temple
A Mayan temple was damaged during an "end of the world" party (Photo: Reuters)

A Mayan temple was damaged when "end of the world" party goers visited the ancient stone temple in Guatemala earlier this month, in preparation for the supposed "Mayan Apocalypse" that never came on December 21, 2012.  The Mayan temple, located on a UNESCO World Heritage Site, suffered "irreparable" damage.

"Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage," Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site said, according to Yahoo! News. While he did not elaborate on what the damage was, he said the Mayan temple cannot be repaired.

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Many people believed that the end of the world would come on December 21, 2012, coinciding with the end of the Mayan calendar. More than 700,000 people visited the Mayan temple damaged on that day, where Mayan priests held ceremonies.

"We are fine with the celebration, but (the tourists) should be more aware because this is a (UNESCO) World Heritage Site," Gomez said.

Temple II, which is 125-high and resides in the protected Tikal region of Guatemala, was a popular attraction for "end of the world" party-goers. However, many people criticized the event, saying it had little to do with the actual Mayans, who mostly live in poverty in the area.

UNESCO declared Tikal a world heritage site in 1979. World heritage sites are places UNESCO deems to have special cultural or physical significance. UNESCO "seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. "

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