A section of The Great Wall of China has suddenly gone viral, two years after it was “repaired” by local officials.
See if you can figure out why everyone’s angry:
“It really was an ugly repair job,” a local official admitted to the BBC, now the dodgy fix has gained international exposure.
The section has stood for 635 years, according to Ding Hui, the head of the Liaoning Provincial Antiquities Bureau, on Yan Mountain, in the Liaoning province to the east.
The “wild stretch” of the wall is called Xiaohekou, and is obviously known to locals, but a bit out of the way for the majority of tourists.
Ding said the repairs to the 635-year-old structure took place in 2014.
At that time, experts warned that the wall was in desperate need of repair and about 30% had “disintegrated”. It draws around four million visitor a year.
An estimated 375,000 people walked Beijing area’s Badaling section alone on last year’s National Day holiday.
You can get a good idea of how bad the damage is from these pics a couple shared with us back in 2012, of a section that has been closed since 2010 for safety reasons.
Erosion is just one issue conservators and UNESCO have to deal with. For hundreds of years, locals have pillaged sections of the wall for bricks to sell to tourists or build their own homes out of.
The uproar only just started a couple of days ago, when pictures from a local news outlet made it onto an online forum.
Even the People’s Daily was upset, and cited the 2006 Great Wall Protection Ordinance that stated “repair and restoration of the Great Wall should keep the original scene by principle”.
It might be too late to repair properly, although one official claims it’s not concrete, but actually a lime mortar.
The work was approved by the national State Administration of Cultural Heritage, according to Wang Jianhua of the Suizhong County Heritage Conservation Bureau, and done for “safety reasons”.
The wall with all its branches once stretched 20,000km but the majority of the wall that exists now – the Great Wall – traverses around 9000km.
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