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3 October 2004
Swiss rock-lifter agrees to return megalith

A Swiss gardening enthusiast who took a two-and-half tonne stone from a forest to decorate his garden has pledged to put it back, after local authorities warned he had stolen a listed prehistoric relic.
     Authorities were mystified when the weighty megalith vanished from a wood near the village of Montagny-pres-Yverdon in early September, said Mayor Linus Auer. A few hours after they published an appeal for witnesses in local newspapers, the rock-lifter, who had used a tractor to shift the would-be centrepiece of his rock garden, came forward voluntarily. He explained that he "wanted something pretty in his garden" but did not realise the rock was a prehistoric stone, the mayor said.
     The megalith is a protected object and has holes carved by hand during the Neolithic period, or the Bronze Age. The gardener has pledged to put the megalith back in place, in return for an offer from the village not to press charges. he village is taking steps to avoid a similar misunderstanding in the future. Mr Auer says: "We're going to put an explanatory sign to point out that it's a megalith."

Source: ABC News (1 October 2004)

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