Two People Use Heavy Machinery to Remove Section of Great Wall of China: Case Solved in One Day

Damage to Great Wall of China by Heavy Machinery

It may have seemed like a good idea at the time.

In an apparent attempt to create a shortcut, two individuals allegedly used heavy machinery to remove a significant portion of the Great Wall of China in Shanxi province, as reported by local authorities online.

The duo utilized an excavator to widen an existing gap in the wall, allowing their machinery to pass through it, according to the notice issued by security officials from Youyu County.

According to the notice published on Aug. 31, the suspects, a 38-year-old man named Zheng and a 55-year-old woman named Wang, claimed they removed the wall “to shorten a journey.” Both individuals are from Inner Mongolia.

Case solved ‘the same day’

An investigation into the damage began and concluded on the same day, as stated in the notice. Officials were informed of the damage on the afternoon of Aug. 24, and they promptly rushed to the scene where they found the pair with the excavator.

The section of the wall that was severely damaged was built during the Ming Dynasty and features relatively intact side walls and beacon towers, according to the notice.

While some parts of the Great Wall have fallen into disrepair, the sections constructed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) are considered to be among the best preserved and are often featured in photographs and travel brochures.

This particular Ming Dynasty section spans approximately 5,500 miles, which is less than half the total length of the wall, according to

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

A difficult summer for famous sites

This incident is the latest in a series of high-profile events involving damage to world-famous tourist sites during the summer.

In June, a tourist was caught on camera using a key to carve “Ivan+Hayley 23” into a brick wall of the Colosseum in Rome. The individual later sent a letter of apology to the city’s public officials, claiming to be unaware of the ancient age of the 2,000-year-old amphitheater.

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