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Six tourists arrested for vandalism at Peru's Machu Picchu

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Six tourists arrested for vandalism at Peru's Machu Picchu
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Six tourists have been arrested for acts of vandalism at Machu Picchu in Peru.

Five South American citizens and a French national damaged the world-renowned Inca citadel, including the most symbolic structure, the Temple of the Sun.

One tourist has been charged and will go on trial in Peru while the others were expelled from the country on Wednesday.

Police said they entered the site illegally, at night and without paying, hiding from the last round of the guards before the day's closure.

The vandals spent the night onsite, soiling the walls and even defecating on the floor.

The tourists, aged 20 to 32, were arrested and transferred to Cusco, the regional capital which the Incas called "the centre of the world".

Five were deported to the Bolivian border and the sixth one, a 28-year-old Argentinian, has been charged with "illegal extraction of cultural goods".

The man has admitted to having caused the fall of a stone in the Temple of the Sun, which in its collapse has damaged the floor of the temple, dedicated by the Incas to their Sun god.

He has paid bail worth €800 and if found guilty risks several years in prison.

Machu Picchu was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1983 and is visited by an average of 5,000 tourists every day.