A photo taken of two young women climbing, sitting on top and standing by the dolphin in the fountain commissioned by Prince Ata on Thursday has sparked outrage online.
Commentators on social media claimed one of the metal pipes that came with the dolphin was broken as a result of the incident but no further details about the extent of damage given.
It was not clear when was the photo taken but some Facebook users claimed it was taken after the fountain was officially opened to the public on Thursday.
Authorities in Tonga could not be reached for comments but another photo appeared on Facebook last night showed a fence has been put around the fountain. It claimed the fence was made after the damage was reported.
“This is very disrespectful and disgusting,” one commentator wrote on Facebook.
“This is absolutely rude and they should be jailed for what they have done,” another wrote.
“Nothing could last longer for the public in Tonga because of this nonsense and show-off,” another wrote.
After the commission ceremony some commentators predicted that some thoughtless actions might occur which could lead to damaging the fountain.
“Please people keep away from the fountain or you will do what you used to – destroying public things because you want to show-off”, one commentator wrote on Facebook shortly after the fountain was commissioned.
But not everyone was as harsh: Some saw the two women’s action as the very thing needed in time of great celebration in Tonga – The celebration of the coronation of the King of Tonga was here for everyone of us to enjoy and that everyone should be happy, one Facebook user wrote in Tongan.
The dolphin fountain was commissioned after it was established to replace a previous brass dolphin which was damaged and stolen two-years ago. The brass dolphin was given to Tonga from Britain in 1970 to mark Tonga’s joining the Community of Nations.
The restoration of the dolphin according to the Tongan government was made to mark His Majesty King Tupou VI’s coronation.