A vandal on the Falkland Islands has sparked a diplomatic incident with an act of damage in Argentina’s war cemetery in the islands, according to the Associated Press news agency.
The unknown vandal smashed glass that protects a sacred Virgin statue. The blue-and-white clothing on the figure of the Virgin Mary is the only symbol of Argentine pride permitted in the islands.
Families of the Argentinians who died in the Falklands conflict in 1982 have called it an “act of sacrilege”. The news agency says the UK’s ambassador in Buenos Aires is being pressed to order an “exhaustive” investigation.
The islands’ government has condemned the attack, which is likely to attract publicity around the world because of heightened tensions over Falklands sovereignty and oil exploration rights.
Extensive coverage of an Olympic hockey match between Argentina and Britain – won by the home team – is evidence of the continuing international interest in the Falklands dispute.