Sunland Park, NM - Mt. Cristo Rey caretakers found out about the vandalism friday, as one of the families did their traditional post-Thanksgiving hike when they found graffiti and carvings on the statue
“Graffiti is a constant problem that we face. People come up here and put their name, they think it’s cool to tag, leave their mark,” said Ruben Escandon with the Mount Cristo Rey Restoration Committee.
It was more than just writing.
“There’s been actual damage to the statue itself, you know, the statue being built out of limestone, a very soft, very pliable material,” Escandon said.
Graffiti drawn on several surfaces, drawings and squiggles carved into the limestone monument of Christ, and even graffiti on the altar itself.
“Right behind here they even dated it. 11-46-2016 courtesy of Gera and R,” Escandon explained.
It’s something visitors who have been coming since they were babies say is a sad sight
“People, I say they’re mean people. They just come and destroy like they destroy other places,” said Ana Maria Escandon, who has been going up since she was nine months old.
Now the Mt. Cristo Rey volunteers are hoping the community will help.
“We ask for people to come up here. Anyone wants to come on a Saturday morning, we’ll organize a cleanup effort, help us paint, help us clean up the area. But that’s pretty much all we can do,” Escandon said.
If you would like to help in the cleanup effort you can Call Ruben Escandon at (915) 252-9840.
A police report has been filed on the incident.