New Mexico stupa moved today after constitutionality challenges

A Tibetan Buddhist stupa in New Mexico’s Petroglyph National Monument, which has been at the center of a two-year debate over constitutional law, is scheduled for relocation today. The stupa, which will be moved to the entrance of Tijeras Canyon, was constructed on private land before the National Park Service acquired the property through eminent domain in 1996. The solicitor’s office in the US Department of Interior issued an oral opinion months ago, which stated that park officials “did not have authority to have the Buddhist stupa on park land.”

Working with members of the Buddhist community, a ceremony was held last month to deconsecrate the stupa in preparation for today’s moving date. Watch a 2011 video explaining the stupa’s history after the jump.

(Photo: Cyndy Sims Parr via Flickr, CC-BY-SA license)