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Athletes Say They Removed Utah Monolith, Legal Case Unclear

A gleaming monolith found deep in the Utah desert was striking, a mysterious beacon that immediately captured the attention of a world grappling with a punishing pandemic casting a pall over the holiday season. Revealed publicly shortly before Thanksgiving, it drew hundreds of people to remote, red-rock country to see and touch the otherworldly edifice that evoked both science-fiction films and the state’s famous land-art works. But the newcomers also flattened plants with their cars and left behind human waste in the bathroom-free backcountry. Now, two men known for extreme sports say it was that kind of damage that made them step in late at night and tear it down.