Easter Island statues damaged in fire

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A fire on Easter Island has damaged some very famous statues there.

Easter Island is a small island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean that belongs to Chile, and is most well known because of these stone carved statues, known as moai.

It is thought to have around 1,000 stone sculptures, many of which look like people but with oversized heads.

The fire is reported to have been started deliberately, and is centred around Easter Island’s Rano Raraku volcano – which is an Unesco World Heritage Site.

Experts say some of the fire damage won’t be able to be repaired.

How much do we know about the statues?

They are between 4 and 10 metres high, and are very old, having been carved more than 500 years ago.

They were made by a Polynesian tribe who originally lived on the island, know as the Rapa Nui people.

Best known for their deep-set eyes and long ears, the statues also have impressive multi-tonne hats made from a different rock type.

Did you know…

One of the statues – known as the Hoa Hakananai’a – can be found in the British Museum, gifted by a British naval captain to Queen Victoria in the 1860s.

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