Prince Imperial Memorial vandalised again

2012-07-09 00:00

AN important historical site has been damaged by vandals who were probably looking for war relics or treasure.

The Prince Imperial Memorial, near Nquthu in the Dundee area, was damaged for the second time in six months.

Amafa, the provincial heritage body, reported that the vandals were probably grave robbers who mistook the site for a grave. They destroyed a marble marker cross and also damaged the supporting structure.

The site marks the spot where a French royal was killed during the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879.

Prince Louis Napoleon, Prince Imperial of France, was an observer with a British detachment when the group was ambushed and he was killed.

The prince’s body was recovered. It lay in state in Pietermaritzburg before being returned to Britain where he and his mother, the Empress Eugenie, had been living in exile.

James van Vuuren, deputy director, support and technical services at Amafa, said: “Nobody is buried beneath the marker … whoever did this was wasting their time because they would have found nothing. They are also wasting our time and resources because we will have to reinstate the marker.”

The police are investigating.

Last month grave robbers, probably in search of relics, desecrated a historic grave at Intombi Camp near Ladysmith.

“It is an offence to remove any relic from a battlefield or grave site. Any person found guilty of this faces a prison sentence or a hefty fine,” said Van Vuuren. — WR.

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