Great Wall’s im­age hurt by re­pair work, of­fi­cials say

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By YANG YANG yangyangs@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Re­pair work has se­verely dam­aged the nat­u­ral im­age of the Great Wall in Suizhong county, Liaon­ing province, de­spite the work’s strength­en­ing ef­fect, of­fi­cials said.

“The restora­tion did fol­low the plan that we ap­proved, and it also achieved its ini­tial pur­pose to strengthen the wall. How­ever, we can’t avoid the se­vere prob­lem it has brought to the im­age of the his­toric struc­ture,” Song Xin­chao, deputy direc­tor of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage, said on Tues­day in Bei­jing.

Ear­lier this month, peo­ple posted pic­tures on so­cial me­dia and said the top of what they de­scribed as the “most beau­ti­ful” sec­tion of the Great Wall had been flat­tened so that it now looks like pave­ment and has lost its orig­i­nal char­ac­ter.

The re­pair work to the sec­tion of the wall, built more than 600 years ago, was com­pleted two years ago. It has ir­ri­tated many ne­ti­zens who ques­tion the project’s le­git­i­macy.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion sent a six-per­son team to Suizhong to in­ves­ti­gate the project.

In an­nounc­ing the re­sults of the two-day in­ves­ti­ga­tion on Thurs­day, Lu Qiong, head of the team, said 780 me­ters of the Great Wall had been flat­tened with a mix­ture of lime, clay and fine sand.

On­the sur­face of some steep parts, a small quan­tity of con­crete was added to the tra­di­tional ma­te­rial, which was not clar­i­fied in the project plan, she said.

Fu Qingyuan, se­nior en­gi­neer with the State Re­search In­sti­tute of Cul­tural Her­itage who was on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion team, said, “Con­crete is in­ter­na­tion­ally con­sid­ered a new ma­te­rial that can be added to tra­di­tional ma­te­rial to im­prove the ef­fect in restor­ing cul­tural relics.”

Song said the ad­min­is­tra­tion should have su­per­vised the con­crete restora­tion of the Da­maoshan sec­tion of the Great Wall af­ter ex­am­in­ing and ap­prov­ing the project’s plan, which did not de­tail ma­te­ri­als or meth­ods.

Lu, the head of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion team, said in the re­port that the Cul­tural Relics Bureau in Liaon­ing needs to or­ga­nize ex­perts to fully ex­am­ine the re­pair work to see whether there are more prob­lems. Those re­spon­si­ble will be pun­ished for the dam­age to the GreatWall’s im­age, she added.

The restora­tion achieved its ini­tial pur­pose to strengthen the wall.” Song Xin­chao, deputy direc­tor of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage

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