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Mayan Temple Damaged by ‘End-of-World’ Parties

DOELAN Yann/Getty Images(TIKAL, Guatemala) -- An ancient stone temple in Guatemala suffered significant damage from “end of the word” partygoers earlier this month.

Tikal, where the temple is located, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, according to AFP, “the largest archaeological site and urban center of the Mayan civilization.”

“Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage,” Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site, told AFP.  Climbing the temple is supposed to be forbidden. The nature of the damage was not described, but Gomez said it’s “irreparable.”

Friday, Dec. 21 was believed by some to be the end of the world, coinciding with the end of the Mayan calendar. More than 7,000 people visited Tikal on that day, said the AFP. Mayan priests held ceremonies at the site.

“We are fine with the celebration, but [the tourists] should be more aware because this is a [UNESCO] World Heritage Site,” Gomez reportedly told local media.

The site is about 340 miles north of Guatemala City.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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