Much of the overall lore of the Harry Potter universe is connected to ancient artifacts or ideas. The idea of dark magic stretching back thousands of years, or a trio of magical objects that would give the owner complete and unbeatable power if they possessed all three, or picturesque locations all throughout Europe that hold a special meaning because they are featured in the film adaptations of the book series. So it’s no surprise that Potter fans assign meaning to similar sites or cool objects, especially if they are in some way connected to the ideas and events of the wizarding books.
Sometimes that obsession and passion can go too far, as it has with an instance of vandalism in Spain this week. A group of fans, presumably as they have yet to be identified, spray painted the “Deathly Hallows” symbol alongside the word “Always” on a 2,000 year old tomb in Spain. Although the tomb is on private property, it is a landmark managed by the city council and widely recognized as a “masterpiece” of ancient stonework.
The “Always” of course refers to Severus Snape’s everlasting love for Harry’s mother Lily, and his commitment to protect Harry in her honor and memory. While the impetus behind the vandalism may have been out of intense fandom for the series and the loving meaning behind the combination of the symbol and phrase, it is still an awful instance of vandalism that will permanently affect the ancient and before now unmarred historical site. The people responsible are still at large.
(via The Mirror)