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US officials close mythical Morrison cave

Associated Press Associated Press 7/05/2016

Fans of the Doors who have marked up a scenic cave on the California coast with psychedelic graffiti will have to find another place to spray out their love for frontman Jim Morrison.

The chamber has been closed indefinitely for clean-up.

The trend began with a social media myth that the singer wrote songs in Corral Canyon Cave in Malibu Creek State Park.

It was always a popular hiking spot for nature lovers seeking sweeping views of the surrounding scenery and always had some vandalism, but it has spiralled out of control in the past year.

The cave now looks almost tie-dyed with multicoloured swirls inside and out. Doors lyrics such as "love me 2 times" and "try to set the night on fire" are scrawled on its walls. There also are declarations like "Use your third eye" and "Try LSD," along with more crude tags.

The problem is the combination of tags and hashtags, with people putting pictures of the "Jim Morrison cave" on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, though he never wrote a known word there.

"It exploded over last summer, and graffiti has been increasing ever since," California State Parks District Superintendent Craig Sap told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/1VMPs6c ). "People are posting pictures of the cave 30 or 40 times a day."

Approaching the cave, you can almost expect to catch someone ready to mark it, Supervising Ranger Lindsey Templeton said.

"We come in and we hear shaking cans," Templeton said. "It's like fish in a barrel."

The now-closed cave will be blasted with walnut shells, which will clean off the graffiti without damaging the rock walls. The clean-up will cost $40,000, and there's no word on when hikers can head back to it.

It's a misdemeanour to go to the cave, with a fine of nearly $400, and a felony to spray-paint on it.

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