‘Kueka Stone’ Controversy: Venezuelan Tribe Demands Return of ‘Sacred Rock’
The rock has been in Berlin for more than a decade, but Venezuela’s indigenous Pemon people want it back. The group staged a demonstration this week in front of the German Embassy in Caracas to demand the return of the “Kueka Stone,” which they claim is sacred and was stolen.
After more than 100 people demonstrated outside the German Embassy in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas on Thursday, tensions have flared up once again between the two countries over the rightful owner of a sacred rock. Many of the protestors were indigenous Pemon people, who say the stone was stolen from them and want it returned from Berlin.
The so-called “Kueka Stone” was brought to the capital city some 15 years ago by German artist Wolfgang Kraker von Schwarzenfeld, who used the 35-ton boulder in his “Global Stone” project in the city’s central Tiergarten park. But the Venezuelans say that the rock, considered to be so holy that humans aren’t permitted to touch it, was taken without their permission in 1997. They want it returned to their community in the Gran Sabana tropical grassland region, which is located largely within the Cainama National Park.
“It’s not just a stone. It’s part of our culture and they must return it,” Pemon representative Melchor Flores told an Associated Press reporter during the protest.