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Most Vandalized Landmarks Around the World

Part of the fun of visiting world famous landmarks is that you have the bragging rights to say, “I was there!” And while most folks just take pictures to prove it, some people leave a little piece of themselves behind. For some reason certain landmarks inspire tourists to do just that, in the form of vandalism. In fact some landmarks are famous because of the vandalism. Turn up your rebellious side and take a tour of some of the most vandalized landmarks around the world.

Place-de-l-Alma Most Vandalized Landmarks Around the World

Place de l’Alma

Paris, France

Place de l’Alma, or Flame of Liberty, in Paris originally stood as a symbol of France’s friendship with America. However this gold-leaf covered replica of the Statue of Liberty torch became an unofficial memorial to Princess Diana after her death in 1997. Her fans from all over the world covered the flame with flyers and scribbled notes meant for Diana. In fact many tourists believe that the flame was built in her honor. Source [Photo – Leonardo Machado]

nevada-Shoe-Tree Most Vandalized Landmarks Around the World

Shoe Tree

US 50 in Nevada

What began as an act of defiance and anger decades ago has since grown into a huge tourist attraction. Over the years tourists have added to the vandalism of to the “Shoe Tree” located on US 50 in Nevada—that is, until recently when in an ironic twist the 70-foot cottonwood tree was cut down by vandals. Source

Jim-Morrisons-Grave Most Vandalized Landmarks Around the World

Jim Morrison’s Grave

Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France

Normally a defaced grave sounds like an act of hatred, but in Jim Morrison’s case it’s one way that his fans tried to connect with him—since in life Morrison stood for defiance. Today the grave is heavily guarded and has been cleaned up, although fans still come from all over and leave behind candles or messages on nearby graves. Source [Photo – _chance_]

Giant-hand-Atacama-Desert Most Vandalized Landmarks Around the World

Giant Hand in the Atacama Desert

Atacama Desert, Chile

It makes sense that if you came across a giant hand in the dessert that you’d want people to know that you “wuz here.” The Giant Hand in Chile’s Atacama Desert gets cleaned up often thanks to graffiti. Source

hollywood-sign-jolly-good Most Vandalized Landmarks Around the World

Hollywood Sign

Hollywood, CA

Since Hollywood Hills first became the setting for this iconic landmark it’s been the target of pranks and vandalism. Since the beginning jokesters have changed the sign to say Hollywoodland, Hollyweed, Perotwood, and JollyGood, just to name a few. Recently singer Ke$ha even claimed to have altered the sign to say Ke$hawood, but it turned out to be an elaborate hoax… in fact defacing the Hollywood sign today is nearly impossible since the security around it has increased quite a bit. Source

Georgia-Guidestones-vandalism Most Vandalized Landmarks Around the World

Georgia Guidestones

Elbert County, Georgia

Also known as American Stonehenge, the Georgia Guidestones sprang up in 1979 and have been a controversial monument ever since. The inscriptions on the guide stones feature instructions in several different languages with commandments meant to maintain peace on earth, such as keeping the human population under 500,000,000. Over the years the Georiga Guidestones have been defaced by angry citizens who disagree with its message… of course some of the vandalism is just the ignorant ranting of crazy people. Source [Photo – Prison Planet]

Kisssing-the-Blarney-Stone Most Vandalized Landmarks Around the World

Blarney Stone

Blarney Castle, Ireland

They say that kissing the Blarney Stone will give you good luck-just ignore the devilish smirk on the locals’ faces as you do it. There’s a rumor that locals pee on the Blarney Stone after hours. We’re not sure whether or not it’s true, but it was referenced in the novel Fight Club as the narrator’s first act of vandalism. Source [Photo – Wikipedia]

bubble-gum-alley Most Vandalized Landmarks Around the World

Bubble Gum Alley

San Luis, Obispo, California

Like the shoe tree of Nevada, Bubble Gum Alley stands as another example of vandalism becoming a tourist attraction. Tourists have stuck their gum up on these walls for more than 50 years. At first the city tried keeping the walls clean, but later decided to let the tradition live on as Bubble Gum Alley gained media coverage. The alley even features gum art by professional artists, including a self portrait of artist Matthew Hoffman. Source [Photo – Wikipedia]

The-Little-Mermaid-Statue-vandalized Most Vandalized Landmarks Around the World

The Little Mermaid Statue

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Little Mermaid statue or “Den lille havfrue” has drawn a lot of tourism for Copenhagen, Denmark yet officials announced in 2007 that it may be moved further out into the harbor to keep it safe from vandals. Over the past 50 years the statue has been painted, damaged and covered—often to make political statements. For instance, in 2004 protesters covered the statue with a burka to make a statement against Turkey joining the European Union. Source [Photos – Xinhuanet and Colorado Right]

Cadillac-Ranch-amarillo-texas Most Vandalized Landmarks Around the World

Cadillac Ranch

Amarillo, Texas

Don’t worry about getting caught with a can of spray paint at Cadillac Ranch, because graffiti is encouraged. Since its construction by artists Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels in 1974 the half buried cars of Cadillac Ranch have been painted over dozens of times, providing a fresh canvas for new visitors every time. Of course solid colors don’t last long… Hampton Inn had them restored in an effort to restore a series of Route 66 landmarks, but the fresh paint job didn’t even last a day. Source [Photo – Wikiepdia]

paris-catacombs-art Most Vandalized Landmarks Around the World

Paris Catacombs

Paris, France

The Paris underground scene isn’t about exclusive night clubs—it’s literally underground. Cataphiles spend their days and nights under the city celebrating life while surrounded by death. Some people visit the catacombs of Paris to party and some to paint. While much of the artwork covering the tunnels is truly breathtaking, we doubt it’s exactly what the creators had in mind back in the 18th century when the catacombs were built. Source [Photo – National Geographic]