China cements over Great Wall, guilty of "world's worst restoration"

Sep 23, 2016, 01:55
China cements over Great Wall, guilty of

Bricks, stones, and other details of this 700-years-old section of the Great Wall have all been covered up by a smooth layer of cement. The fix job, which took place near the border of Liaoning and Hebei province, was made in an effort to restore parts of a deteriorating portion of the wall that is not open to the public.

Social media users and advocates of the cultural relic have condemned the cemented fix, with "The most lovely, wild Great Wall flattened" trending on China's Twitter-like microblog Weibo, according to CNN. Dong Yaohui, deputy director of the Great Wall Society of China, said he was "heartbroken" every time he saw the ancient battlement renovated "beyond all recognition like this", according to the report.

The Chinese government has specific regulations on the preservation of the Great Wall, which is crumbling in many remote locations. "Glad Venus de Milo is not in China, or someone would get her a new arm", wrote one user on the network Weibo.

The restoration could end up having a very negative effect on tourism.

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Ms. Yu, 60, who runs a small hotel in nearby Yong'anpu village, says that visitor numbers have plummeted following the restoration.

"The initial intention was to make it more suitable for tourists to walk on", an employee from the administration of cultural heritage in Suizhong, which has jurisdiction over Xiaohekou, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Likely, they were surprised that the issue had come up at all, because apparently the changes to the section of the wall had been made back in 2014.

The affected section of the Great Wall lies in Suizhong county, along the border with Hebei province.

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"Turn the Great Wall into a highway, why didn't our ancestors think of that?" wrote another.

The repairs have only now come to light from photos posted to Chinese social media platform Weibo, where thousands of users criticised the renovation work.

The campaign is led by the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation which has said the wall is in great need of fix. "I wish the local government would return our old Great Wall".

However, an official survey said the stretch of wall was in danger of falling apart and being washed away by the rain.

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