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Whoops! Norwegian boys ruin 5,000-year-old rock carving by trying to help

We'll just make that a little darker there, and fix that line there, and...uh, were we not supposed to do that?

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Citizens of the world, stop messing with the art.

Earlier this year, a kid in China destroyed a $15,000 Lego statue just an hour after it went on display. And the mangled fresco of Jesus that a Spanish woman awkwardly painted over in 2012 still shows up in memes.

Now a pair of Norwegian boys are joining the Roster of Shame. The two saw a 5,000-year-old rock carving of a man on skis on the island of Tro on Norway's west coast and decided it wasn't visible enough, the UK's Telegraph reports. So they took a sharp object and traced over the lines -- and around the lines, and outside the lines, and pretty much made their own scratched-up lines. It's no Potato Jesus, but the Stone Age carving no longer represents its original image.

Here's the original, as shown in a tweet from Archaeology magazine:

And here's the, uh, "improved" version.

The carving was one of the earliest depictions of skiing ever found, and is so iconic that it inspired one of the symbols used for the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994.

"The new lines are both in and outside where the old marks had been," said archaeologist Tor-Kristian Storvik. "We will never again be able to experience these carvings again the way we have for the last 5,000 years."

The boys have apologized, but still could face prosecution under Norway's Cultural Heritage Act.

It's a shame they never learned where to draw the line.