A section of the Great Wall of China collapsed recently under heavy rains, prompting critics to blame modern renovations that allegedly weakened it.
The collapsed section of the wall fell after several days of rain in Dai county in Shanxi province and is adjacent to the historically important Yamen Pass. Critics blamed modern renovation projects at various sites along the wall, which have marred the historical integrity of the monument and, in some cases, physically weakened it. (RELATED: Christian Theologian Makes Case That God Supports Trump’s Border Wall)
“Sometimes I was thinking why you [people renovating the wall] can’t do things more seriously. Why can’t you devote all your energy?” read an article published on Wechat citizen journalist account Xiaozhanbianjibu, according to ECNS.
The same report claimed that another section of the Great Wall along the Yellow River had collapsed due to construction and rainfall. Other reports surfaced in June that claimed renovation projects on the wall in Shanxi’s Datong had used modern materials disguised to look like ancient materials in repairs of the wall.
Authorities denied the reports and said they had used “handmade bricks based on the ancient methods.”
Eyewitness accounts from tourists in 2016, however, reported another botched renovation at a section of the wall in Liaoning Province, which some regard as the wall’s most beautiful section.
“They filled the crenelations and paved the walkways with cement,” reported a tourist identified only as Ye, according to Express. “It does not look like the Great Wall I had in mind at all.”
A tourism official said that workers had paved that section smooth with cement to “make it more suitable for tourists to walk on.”
Experts, like professor of ancient architecture Wang Guixiang at Tsinghua University, said the renovation attempts are causing damage to the wall that may well be “irreversible.”
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