Top 5 Facts: Easter Island
1. Fatboy – The largest stone statue on Easter Island is actually incomplete, left unfinished by the ancient islanders. If it had been complete, however, this shorter and squatter statue would have weighed around 270 tons!
2. Toppled – By 1868 all the moai statues had been toppled over, many left broken or disfigured. Island legend states that this was caused by centuries of deadly conflict between rival clans, each determined to deface the other’s statues.
3. Finn fine – In 2008 a Finnish tourist was caught chipping a piece of ear of one of the moai statues. Considering that the moai and their surroundings are protected as a World Heritage site, the tourist was fined $17,000 and ejected.
4. Removed – Before the moai were granted protection, many of them were removed from the island by collectors. Many of these now reside in museums worldwide, including the British Museum and the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France.
5. Tapati – Ever since 1975 the residents of Easter Island have held the festival of Tapati to celebrate Rapa Nui culture. Held in February of each year, the festival includes many traditional activities including dancing and woodcarving.