Bungling builders destroy 6,000-year-old Neolithic tomb – and replace it with concrete PICNIC TABLE

29 August

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The tomb was a relic of the first settlers in the Spanish Cristovo de Cea region and was originally built some 4000 years before the birth of Christ

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Picnic? The site after the workers finished

Every builder, tradesman and DIY enthusiast knows the embarrassment of making a howler on the job, whether it’s taps installed the wrong way round or a wonky shelf.

But few will know the sheer panic these Spanish workmen probably felt when they discovered they had smashed up a 6,000-year-old Neolithic tomb and replaced it with a concrete picnic table.

The tomb was a relic of the first settlers in the Cristovo de Cea region in the north-western Spanish region of Galicia and had been originally built some 4000 years before the birth of Christ.

But local council workers who were apparently ignorant of the historic nature of the site thought it was simply a broken stone picnic table, and replaced it with a brand-new concrete picnic table.

Galicia’s Department of Culture, Education and Universities has said it has launched an investigation after being flooded with complaints about the picnic table, that sits on a concrete slab in the village of Ardesende in Cristovo de Cea. Prosecutors are reportedly also investigating.

Relic: The site in 2008. When it was still a tomb of important historical significance

It was registered by the regional government as a “site of cultural interest” but the local council claims nobody told them it was a historical site.

The alarm was raised by local environmental group Grupo Ecoloxista Outeiro de Carballino.

In a report they said: “The location of this concrete picnic bench has caused irreparable damage to the prehistoric cemetery site.”

Local mayor of Cristovo de Cea, Jose Luis Valladores, refused to apologise when told of the complaint saying that the environmental group would have been better to raise the matter before the site was destroyed instead of afterwards.

He said that neither the heritage group nor the environmental group had ever referred to its importance.

He told the Spanish Huffington Post : “The site wasn’t even marked and the logical thing would have been for them to get in contact with the local council so that we could have taken measures to protect the site.”

And he added that in any case it was the regional government that should have taken responsibility for safeguarding them and not his council.

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