Youths deface 5,000-year-old Norwegian carving

Two boys who thought they were improving a 5,000-year-old carving and symbol of Norway caused irreversible damage to it, archeologists say.

The faint image on the island of Tro off Nordland is one of the earliest evidence of skiing by Stone Age man, according to the Local Norway.

"It's a sad, sad story," Tor-Kristian Storvik told The Telegraph. "The new lines are both in and outside where the old marks had been. We will never again be able to experience these carvings again the way we have for the last 5,000 years."

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The symbol served as the inspiration for the Olympic logo when the Winter games were held in Lillehammer in 1994.

"It is one of the most internationally known symbols of Norway. It's a kid, and it was done out of good intentions," Bård Anders Langø, the mayor of Alstahaug a nearby city, told The Local. "They were trying to make it more visible actually, and I don't think they understood how serious it was. I think now they understand."

The youths, who are not being named for their protection, according to The Local, also damaged other rock carvings at the site.