Local guide Yang Wei-jen was very upset when he discovered that someone had maliciously scratched a century-old Buddhist statue on the Jhueilu Old Road trail in Taroko National Park. In a post on his Facebook timeline, Yang said that when he was guiding a group of hikers along the trail on Aug. 24, he noticed numerous conspicuous scratches on the face of the Guanyin bodhisattva statue and took photos on the spot to record the damage. Yang said that he did not understand why anyone would damage a holy statue that has been protecting Taiwan for more than a century. Were they not afraid of suffering bad karma? Yang urged the public to take proper care of historic artifacts.
Interviewed by reporters the next day, Yang said that the damaged Guanyin bodhisattva is in an out-of-the-way location with no surveillance cameras along the way, so it would be hard to catch the culprit. He suggested that the park headquarters install a protective acrylic screen, or else move the century-old Buddhist statue to the visitor center at the foot of the mountains. He suggested setting up a Hehuan historic mountain trail memorial hall where historically valuable artifacts could all be looked after in one place.
The Taroko National Park Headquarters said that park rangers and officers of the Seventh Special Police Corps’ Ninth Division had gone into the mountains to investigate, and that they had confirmed that the stone Buddhist statue in the second tunnel of the Jhueilu Old Road trail did indeed show signs of having been scribbled upon. The park headquarters said that at this stage it would figure out how to repair the statue and reinforce area patrols.
照片：楊偉仁提供 Photo courtesy of Yang Wei-jen
The park headquarters said that the carved stone Buddhist statue, which is about 60cm tall, was left where it now stands when the Jhueilu Old Road trail was repaired between 1914 and 1915, making the statue more than 100 years old. Many people stop to worship the Buddhist statue when they walk past it. The park headquarters is deeply distressed and puzzled about this apparent vandalism, and if the culprit is found, he or she will be fined NT$3,000 (US$102) in accordance with the activities prohibited by the National Park Act.
(Translated by Julian Clegg, Taipei Times)
照片：太魯閣國家公園管理處提供 Photo courtesy of the Taroko National Park Headquarters
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