An 18-year-old Swiss woman has been arrested in Granada, Spain, after she used her fingernails to draw a heart on the walls of the Alhambra palace.

"/> An 18-year-old Swiss woman has been arrested in Granada, Spain, after she used her fingernails to draw a heart on the walls of the Alhambra palace.

" />
SHARE
COPY LINK

SPAIN

Swiss tourist arrested for Alhambra wall graffiti

An 18-year-old Swiss woman has been arrested in Granada, Spain, after she used her fingernails to draw a heart on the walls of the Alhambra palace.

Swiss tourist arrested for Alhambra wall graffiti

Ignoring warnings that she was damaging a 14th century UNESCO World Heritage Site, the tourist persevered with the engraving until she was finished.

She chose one of the most precious sites at the Alhambra: the richly decorated Comares Palace, the official residence of the Nasrid rulers of the Moorish Emirate of Granada.

Private security guards at the Alhambra called Spanish national police when the woman failed to heed their warnings. Police then arrested the woman, accusing her of committing an offence against the nation’s cultural heritage.

“She did not resist arrest,” a Granada national police spokesman told The Local.

“She wrote two letters on the side of what appeared to be a heart. The initials did not correspond with her own.”

Police said the woman was born in Switzerland in August 1993 and lives in Pfäffikon. Her last name indicates she is of Arab origin. She was arrested at 5.30pm on Saturday.

She spent the night of January 7th in prison and was brought before a court the next morning, where she refused to testify. She is now awaiting trial.

Police said the site she chose for her amorous engraving, rather than the specific damage done to the building, made her crime much more serious than a regular graffiti case.

Granada district court will decide whether to fine her or hand down a custodial sentence.

“The damage is superficial, but we can’t allow this kind of behaviour to take place,” a spokeswoman for the Council of the Alhambra told The Local.

“These kinds of offences fall under the National Heritage Law. It’s like damaging a painting at the El Prado museum.”

Police and the Alhambra council said crimes of this nature were rare at the historical site.

“We only made one other arrest in the whole of last year, when a Jordanian citizen was arrested for scratching the walls with a coin,” said the police spokesman.

He was fined €320.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

UNESCO

Mendrisio’s Easter processions bid for Unesco ‘intangible heritage’ status

The Easter processions in Mendrisio have been officially submitted by Switzerland to Unesco for consideration for its ‘intangible heritage’ list.

Mendrisio’s Easter processions bid for Unesco ‘intangible heritage’ status
Photo: Remy Steinegger/Ticino Tourism
The candidacy was officially lodged on Tuesday, though Unesco’s decision on whether to approve it won’t be taken until November 2019, the Swiss government said in a statement
 
Mendrisio’s Easter processions, taking place on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, date back around 500 years and now attract thousands of spectators. 
 
Thursday’s procession involves some 270 people and 50 horses in a portrayal of the Passion of Christ, while Good Friday’s procession depicts the burial of Christ. 
 
During the processions the street lights are turned off, with the only light coming from traditional painted transparencies, some hundreds of years old, which are lit from behind and decorate the streets. 
 
These transparencies were created using a technique specific to the 18th century, the preservation of which was a major factor in Switzerland’s bid for the event’s inclusion on the Unesco intangible heritage list, said the government.
 
The transparencies are hundreds of years old. Photo: Remy Steinegger/Ticino Tourism
 
Unesco’s intangible heritage list aims to raise awareness of the importance of living traditions and cultural festivities around the world. 
 
Mendrisio’s Easter event is the fourth Swiss living tradition submitted by Switzerland to Unesco from a list of eight drawn up in 2014
 
Unesco has already accepted two of Switzerland’s submissions – the Fête des Vignerons (winegrowers’ festival) in Vevey and Basel’s Fasnacht carnival – and will make a decision on the third, Switzerland’s avalanche risk management, this November.
 
Switzerland intends to submit four more items in the coming years: the alpine livestock season, yodelling, Swiss watchmaking and Swiss graphic and typographic design (including the Helvetica font).