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2 September 2006
Apulian menhir damaged

One of the four standing stones of the so-called "Sovereto-Bitonto" alignment has been pulled down by vandals. The menhir is located in Bosco della Ginestra, near Terlizzi (Bari), in Apulia, the region forming the "heel" of boot-shaped Italy.
     The fact was reported to Italian authorities last July 16th by the local archaeology group "Archaia" and the association "Pro Loco" in Terlizzi. The whole alignment of standing stones is heavily threatened by local traffic since the Terlizzi mayor decided last year to transform a secondary dirt lane - the stones are located along it - into an asphalt road. In January 2006 various groups informed the authorities that the whole area was compromised and the standing stones were threatened by passing vehicles. Then, the Archaeological Superintendence sent a letter to Terlizzi mayor, asking him to start a project to protect the standing stones. But no action was taken and after a few months, it was too late.
     The 2.5m tall menhir was probably pulled down using a heavy vehicle. All groups involved are complaining the inertia of Terlizzi mayor and his representatives and they hope more serious actions will be taken to protect the remaining stones.

Sources: La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, Patrimonio SOS (17 July 2006), Stone Pages (2 September 2006)

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