The Georgia Guidestones monument is destroyed after an explosion

A Georgia monument that has drawn curious visitors and been ridiculed by a gubernatorial candidate as satanic was destroyed on Wednesday after authorities said someone had detonated an explosive device at the site.

The Georgia Guidestones, a granite monument adorned with a message about the conservation of mankind, were demolished for safety reasons after the 4 a.m. explosion in Elbert County, the Georgia Bureau said. of Investigation in a statement.

The agency released surveillance video showing the explosion and a silver sedan leaving the scene shortly after the detonation.

No motive was identified and the agency only said “unknown individuals” detonated the device.

The monument – dubbed “America’s Stonehenge” – was 19ft tall and contained a 10-part message in 12 languages, according to tourist site Explore Georgia.

Christopher Kubas, executive vice president of the Elberton Granite Association, which helped maintain the site, said it attracts more than 20,000 visitors a year, NBC affiliate WYFF of Greenville, South Carolina, reported. .

The message called for keeping Earth’s population below 500 million “in perpetual balance with nature”, a “living new language” and “wisely guiding reproduction”, among other things, according to the Elbert County Chamber of Commerce.

An account of the site’s origins on the chamber’s website says it was funded by a “small anonymous group of faithful Americans who believe in God” and lived outside of Georgia.

The group wanted to leave a message for future generations, according to the account.

Speaking on Wednesday, Kubas said some found the post offensive and that the monument had already been spray painted, WYFF reported.

A former gubernatorial candidate, Republican Kandiss Taylor, pledged to grind the monument to dust if elected. Taylor placed third in the state’s May 24 primary after winning 3.4% of the vote.

In a video on Wednesday, she said she believed God pulled down the monument, which she referred to in a Tweeter as “Satanic Guidestones”.

“Until I see a video that shows me something other than what looked like lightning or the hand of God working on a situation, I’m going to believe it was God,” she said. “If it was vandalism, then there are cameras everywhere.”

“These people should be brought to justice,” she said, adding that she was not in favor of tearing down the structure by means “outside our legal system.”

The monument was located in Elbert County, in the northeast part of Georgia, across the Savannah River from South Carolina.

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