The Great Wall of China damaged by two people wanting a shortcut for their vehicle

Maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time.

In an apparent attempt to create a shortcut, two people allegedly used heavy machinery to remove a significant portion of the Great Wall of China in Shanxi province, according to an online notice from local authorities.

The duo used an excavator to widen a pre-existing gap so their heavy machinery could pass through, according to the notice issued by Youyu County security officials.

The two men – a 38-year-old man named Zheng and a 55-year-old woman named Wang – removed the wall “to shorten a trip,” according to a CNBC translation of the notice published on August 31. both from Inner Mongolia.

Case resolved “the same day”

An investigation into the damage began and was completed the same day, according to the notice, which said authorities became aware of the damage on the afternoon of Aug. 24, rushed to the scene and located the couple with the shovel.

The two men severely damaged the wall in an area built during the Ming Dynasty that has “relatively complete side walls and beacon towers,” according to the notice.

Although parts of the Great Wall of China have fallen into disrepair, the portions built during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) are considered among the best-preserved sections of the wall and are often depicted in photographs and booklets. journey.

This Ming dynasty section is approximately 5,500 miles long, less than half the wall’s total length, according to

The Great Wall was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

A difficult summer for famous sites

The episode is the latest in a series of high-profile incidents involving damage to world-famous tourist sites this summer.

In June, a tourist was filmed using a key to carve “Ivan+Hayley 23” into a brick wall at Rome’s Colosseum. The man later wrote a letter of apology to the city’s public authorities, saying he did not know the 2,000-year-old amphitheater was ancient.

Names are engraved on a wall inside Rome’s Colosseum in 2015, a reminder that tourists also misbehaved before the pandemic.

Filippo Monteforte | Afp | Getty Images

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