Tourist enrages crowd by climbing stairway to gods at Mayan temple, officials say
A Polish tourist was hit in the head with a stick and yelled at after walking up the steps of the Mayan pyramid in Chichén Itzá, according to the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia of Mexico.
The pyramid, an archaeological and historical site, has been closed to climbing since 2008, but that didn’t stop the man from crossing into the restricted area and walking up the stairs of the pyramid on Jan. 28.
In a video circulating on social media, the man can be seen being led down the steps of the Temple of Kukulcán, the Mayan pyramid, by site officials. When he reaches the ground, he is met by an angry crowd.
Other local and international tourists can be heard yelling obscenities and voicing their anger toward the tourist in the video.
The tourist is then approached from behind by a shirtless man holding a large stick while being led away from the temple.
The shirtless man swings the stick, hitting the back of the man’s head. The site officials then attempt to lead the tourist through the crowd where he continued to be berated.
Chichén Itzá pic.twitter.com/k2E8xCyGf6
— at2am. (@at2ambrand) January 29, 2023
The Mexico Daily Post reported that the man had accessed the area “to take pictures and share them on social networks.”
The man was arrested by the Municipal Police of Tinum and held for 12 hours before being released with a fine, José Arturo Chab Cárdenas, head of the INAH Yucatan Center, said in a statement according to Aristegui Noticias.
Chab Cárdenas said the man was a visitor from Poland and that he had been fined 5,000 pesos, the equivalent of around $266.
His arrest comes just two months after another tourist went viral for walking up the steps despite yells from onlookers. The woman climbed the temple on Nov. 20 and when she came back down, people threw food and water at her and pulled her hair.
The Temple of Kukulcán was built by the Mayans for the feathered serpent god Kukulcán between 800 and 900 A.D., according to Atlas Obscura. The temple helped the Mayans to track the summer and winter equinoxes, when the Mayans said Kukulcán would return to commune with his worshippers and bring good health and healthy crops.
“Tourists must respect the security measures of the INAH in the archaeological zone to preserve the cultural heritage of Mexico, take care of other visitors and enjoy that Mayan legacy,” Chab Cárdenas said to the Mexico Daily Post.
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