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Posted by Victor Crew on

Trespassing Tourists Banned from Great Wall of China

Two tourists were banned from the Great Wall of China when they trespassed on an section of the structure not developed for tourism. This according to the operator of the Mutianyu section of the Wall.

Other visitors reported the two men from Senegal for ignoring the “no crossing” sign. They climbed onto the undeveloped part of the wall around Watchtower 20. The area is currently being redeveloped to be open to the public.

Officials stated on the Great Wall WeChat account that much of this are is unstable and needs repaired. They said safety-wise this “wild” section of the Great Wall is dangerous as it is steep with loose bricks. They said it would be easy to get lost or injured and isn’t suitable for either climbing or walking.

The operator has asked all visitors to respect and protect the structure. Unauthorized tourism in forbidden sections is not only dangerous to tourists but can severely damage the UNESCO World Heritage site.

When the operator learned of the trespassing by the two men they employed the ticketing and monitoring system to find their information and put them on a black list preventing them from purchasing tickets in the future.

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Not So Great Restoration

Historical restorations typically require a delicate touch to maintain authenticity. Unfortunately a large section of China’s Great Wall got a repair job recently that looks like amateur chuckhole fill-in. A 700-year-old “wild” stretch of China’s Great Wall has been covered in a smooth, white trail of cement under orders from Suizhong county’s Cultural Relics Bureau.

The repairs were carried out in 2014, but they only came to public attention recently. It was an effort to restore parts of the wall which have fallen into disrepair and are not open to the public, but the restoration has been met with condemnation by social media users and advocates.

The repair work took place near the border of Liaoning and Hebei province and photos of the results were widely shared by Beijing News on Weibo this week.

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Can Crowd Funding Save One of the Great Wonders of the World?

An online crowd funding campaign to raise $1.6 million (11 million yuan) has been launched by the China Foundation for Culture Heritage Conservation, a semi-official organization. So far, around 385,000 yuan has been gathered from more than 24,000 pledgers. The ancient fortification snakes for 13,000 miles (21,000 kilometers) across northern China, running through nine provinces.

Many local governments don’t have enough funding to preserve the Great Wall, nor is there enough manpower. The money will be used to restore a 500-year-old and 460-meter-long section of the Great Wall located in Xifengkou, Hebei Province.

The organizers also hope the campaign will raise awareness of the many threats facing the Great Wall. Built in different stages from the third century B.C. to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the wall was built to defend an empire but parts of it are now crumbling. Bricks have been stolen to build houses, for agriculture or to sell as souvenirs to tourists – exacerbating the natural erosion wrought by wind, rain and sandstorms.

According to a 2014 survey by the society, only about 8.2% of the Great Wall is in good condition.