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Greenpeace in hot water after Nazca Lines escapade

The Peruvian government says it will prosecute Greenpeace activists who took part in a stunt that caused damage at the Nazca Lines.

The site is home to huge images of animals and plants created about 1,500 years ago, and considered very vulnerable; access is limited and people who visit have to wear special footwear, the BBC reports. In advance of the U.N. climate talks in Lima, about 20 Greenpeace members went near the lines and left behind cloth letters that read "Time for change, the future is renewable."

The government says the activists left footprints in the delicate ground, and will open a criminal investigation and do everything to prevent those responsible from leaving the country. "It's a true slap in the face at everything Peruvians consider sacred," Deputy Culture Minister Luis Jaime Castillo said. A legal advisor for Greenpeace said the organization was sorry and the stunt came across as "careless and crass."