London, England (WiredPRNews.com) — For over 5,000 years, the curious collection of boulders at Stonehenge has sat in silent magnificence in England’s Salisbury Plain. As one of the world’s best preserved prehistoric monuments, there have been many mysteries about the structure which attracts around 850,000 visitors per year.
According to the AFP, “In around 2,600 BC, 80 giant standing stones were arranged on Salisbury Plain, where there was already a 400-year-old stone circle. Around two centuries later, even bigger stones were brought to the plain. Today, only 40 percent of the originals remain.”
Of that 40 percent, or 17 remaining stones, the reverence for the structures is highly guarded. Unfortunately, vandals were able to evade those security measures and AFP reported on Thursday that vandals were seen using a hammer and a screwdriver to vandalize the stones. “The night-time attack by two men last week involved the central megalith in the 5,000-year-old ring of standing stones, said the conservation body English Heritage, adding that they could have been looking for a souvenir.”
The vandals reportedly chipped off a piece of stone approximately the size of a large coin and scratched a section roughly 2.5 inches long on the Heel Stone. A spokeswoman for English Heritage noted that the quick reaction of Stonehenge’s security team is the reason why more damage was not done and the vandals quickly escaped in a pickup truck.
The spokeswoman also stated that the two suspects are believed to have made a return attempt at vandalizing Stonehenge on a previous occasion.