Atlantis Buddha Courtesy Chris Hampton

A famous image of Buddha, which appeared on the cover of the very first Cafe Del Mar compilation in 1994, was recently vandalised at its home in a Phonecian stone quarry named “Atlantis” next to Cala D’Hort on the south west coast of the Island. The carving is over 40 years old and is an iconic presence within an area of reverence and spirituality for many people.

Atlantis is now a Tourist attraction for individuals who feel that they would like to find the unique spiritual energy and power that Ibiza is renowned for. Its usually the first step on a road to discovery of the Real Ibiza and her powers of attraction. Atlantis is mentioned in many of the tourist guides and along with the hippy sunset drumming sessions at Bennirras each Sunday, would be the Islands best know, public alternative interest sites. They are gateways to another side of Ibiza and its where some start to open their eyes to a deeper understanding of the Islands personality.

Therefore the vandalism of a simple and beautiful work of art, in such a revered area overlooking Es Vedra, has understandably struck a chord of horror and abhorrence with many who live on the Island. Its clear that the person responsible took pleasure from the act and there may be a sectarian connection to the defacing as its a spit in the face to hippy and Buddhism beliefs. Its either an act of ignorance and stupidity or a deliberate and cynical statement of hatred.

Vandalised Buddha at Atlantis

Judging by the amount and colour range of spray paint used, it was a planned operation. Some people on the Island say that there is a movement in Ibiza to eradicte the Island of all traces of its hippy culture. Stone Stacks near Cala Hort, have been knocked down by authorities at they are seen as unlicensed buildings littering the landscape. The Hippies that still live on the Island from the golden era of Ibiza Hippy culture in the 60’s and 70’s, say that they are now feeling more isolated and that they do not belong to the Island any more due to modern, commercial life encroaching on their space. They have retreated far up into the unfashionable hills of Ibiza, accessed only by dirt roads and rugged terrain.

The graffiti incident at Atlantis, may be just a random act but this would never have happened in times past. It is a reflection of changing attitudes and a harsh reminder that all may not be right with the natural balance and harmony of life.