Ancient World Wonder Seriously Damaged

( – Part of the Great Wall of China was destroyed after two construction workers used an excavator to increase the size of a gap in the Great Wall.

A 38-year-old and a 55-year-old were detained by police in northern China’s Shanxi province after they caused “irreversible damage” to part of the 32nd Great Wall in Youyu County. According to reports, the man and woman were attempting to create a short route for a local construction project they had been working on. The two were charged with destroying a cultural relic. The investigation is ongoing.

The Great Wall dates back to 220 B.C., with work continuing well into the Ming Dynasty which was in power from 1368-1644. In 1644, the Qing dynasty came into power and the wall was abandoned and fell into disrepair. For years after, local villagers took bricks and stones from the structure. The Communist government eventually revived the Great Wall, stating it was a symbol of patriotism, mass mobilization as well as resistance to outside pressure.

The Great Wall runs approximately 5,500 miles across China, with officials estimating that a third of the structure has crumbled. The section that was destroyed by the two construction workers was a broken-down section located far away from the section of the wall that had been restored.

The Great Wall has also often been the target of vandals and thieves, and this is not the only recent act of vandalism to the Great Wall. In August, a tourist used a hairpin to make a carving in the wall and was fined. In May 2021, a pair of foreign tourists were banned from the Great Wall after they allegedly ignored a “no crossing” sign and climbed onto an undeveloped section of the Great Wall.

In 1987 due to its historical and architectural significance, the Great Wall was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are rules that have been imposed by the Chinese government in order to protect it.

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