Sat, Feb 18, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Kaohsiung historical site defaced by paintball game

By Huang Chia-lin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Hundreds of paint markings cover the ruins of the old city wall, a national heritage site, in Kaohsiung’s Zuoying District on Wednesday.

Photo: CNA

The Kaohsiung Bureau of Cultural Affairs on Wednesday said people playing paintball left hundreds of paint markings on city wall ruins, a national heritage site in Zuoying District (左營).

The bureau received a complaint about a group of about 20 people who had allegedly been playing paintball in the remains of the western gatehouse section of the wall, Deputy Commissioner Lin Shang-ying (林尚瑛) said.

One of the players posted details of the paintball game on Facebook, including photographs taken during the event, Kaohsiung Association of Old City Culture director Kuo Chih-chin (郭吉清) told Formosa TV on Wednesday.

“We do not believe it is possible for the group to be unaware that the area is part of a national heritage site,” Kuo said, adding that volunteers counted more than 700 paint splatter marks on the structure.

The alleged culprits had put themselves at risk by running around on the dilapidated structure, which required extensive cleaning, Lin said, adding that the bureau condemned their disrespectful behavior toward national history and laws.

Citing the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法), Lin said that those responsible for the damage could face up to five years in jail or a fine of up to NT$20 million (US$649,857), adding that the bureau had reported the incident to the police.

Fortunately, the paintballs used are believed to be environmentally friendly and their residue can be washed off with water, she said.

On Thursday, police identified two men and detained them for questioning.

The duo said that more than 10 people participated in a “survival” paintball game on Saturday last week, but added that they did not know the site was a national heritage site.

The two men apologized for the incident, which police said was in violation of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act and the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法).

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