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Adventurer And Daredevil Who Removed Monolith Receive Huge Backlash Online

Adventurer And Daredevil Who Removed Monolith Receive Huge Backlash Online

An adventure tour guide and daredevil who identified themselves as two of the people responsible for removing the monolith in Utah have faced something of a backlash online.

Guide Sylvan Christensen and extreme sports pro Andy Lewis admitted to moving the 12-foot sculpture days after it disappeared from the Canyonlands National Park.

Speaking to MailOnline, Sylvan explained that he, Andy, and two other accomplices decided to destroy the structure on Friday because the remote stretch of desert where it had been erected was being overrun by tourists who were 'destroying' the land.

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Posting the video on TikTok and Instagram, Sylvan wrote: "Don't abandon your personal property on public land if you don't want it to be taken out."

Credit: Instagram/@sylvanslacks
Credit: Instagram/@sylvanslacks

Taking to the post, one person wrote: "You got a s*** ton of views. And all you had to do was be a self righteous douche!! You did what you did for publicity, you are not a hero. The person who put that steel out there didn't tell a soul for four years!

"I understand the 'leave no trace' motto and how many humans disrespect nature but this does not fall under that. You are a misguided hypocrite, that's all. Sorry, I don't like posting negativity but you need to reassess your actions."

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Another added: "Imagine acting like a cop over some art," while a third commented: "You're just being a self-righteous ass. This was an exception to the rule. It was intriguing art that put Utah in the international spotlight."

Credit: Instagram/@sylvanslacks
Credit: Instagram/@sylvanslacks

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In response, Sylvan wrote: "We removed the Utah Monolith because there are clear precedents for how we share and standardise the use of our public lands, natural wildlife, native plants, fresh water sources, and human impacts upon them.

"The mystery was the infatuation and we want to use this time to unite people behind the real issues here - we are losing our public lands - things like this don't help.

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"Let's be clear: The dismantling of the Utah Monolith is tragic - and if you think we're proud - we're not. We're disappointed. Furthermore, we were too late.

"We want to make clear that we support art and artists, but legality and ethics have defined standards - especially here in the desert - and absolutely so in adventuring.

"The ethical failure of the artist for the 24" equilateral gouge in the sandstone from the erecting of the Utah Monolith, was not even close to the damage caused by the internet sensationalism and subsequent reaction from the world.

"This land wasn't physically prepared for the population shift (especially during a pandemic).

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"People arrived by car, by bus, by van, helicopter, planes, trains, motorcycles and E-bikes and there isn't even a parking lot. There aren't bathrooms - and yes, pooping in the desert is a misdemeanour.

"There was a lot of that. There are no marked trails, no trash cans, and it's not a user group area. There are no designated camp sites.

"Each and every user on public land is supposed to be aware of the importance and relevance of this information and the laws associated with them. Because if you did, anyone going out there and filming the monolith and monetising it without properly permitting the use of the land would know that's an offense too."

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/sylvanslacks

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Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]