A German backpacker has been caught spraying graffiti on the rocks and ice face at Franz Josef Glacier.
Police said English tourists managed to photograph Jan Philip Scharbert on Thursday as he tagged rock walls leading up to the glacier terminal and even the glacier ice.
Guides removed the glacier tagging with their ice axes, and a description of the offender was given to Conservation Department staff, who reported to police early the next morning that he was waiting to get on a bus heading out of town.
Constable Paul Gurney said police apprehended Scharbert, 28, from Munich, as he was getting on the bus. He was arrested and ordered to clean up his graffiti, under DOC supervision.
Mr Gurney said it took Scharbert 1½ days to clean up his handiwork, during which he was severely dressed down by passing glacier guides and tourists.
Police said DOC was satisfied with his repair job, meaning he escaped a wilful damage charge and left Franz Josef "in one piece".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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