China’s Great Wall knocked down by construction workers wanting a shortcut

By the Associated Press

A section of China’s Great Wall was smashed, allegedly by two construction workers who wanted a shortcut to a job site.

The pair were arrested after the breach was reported on Aug. 24, the Youyu County government said. Identified only as a 38-year-old man surnamed Zheng and a 55-year-old woman surnamed Wang, they remained in custody with further legal action pending.

The area of the breach was a section in Shanxi province, far from the restored segments most tourists are familiar with.

The government of Youyu County, about 200 miles west of Beijing, released photos showing a dirt road cut through a section of the wall. Officials said an excavator was used to create an opening wide enough for vehicles to drive through.

The workers wanted a shorter route for some construction work they were doing in nearby towns, the government report said.

The local government said the section of the wall is relatively well preserved and holds “important preservation and research value.”

In its citation of the Great Wall as a cultural heritage site, UNESCO described it as reflecting the “collision and exchanges between agricultural civilizations and nomadic civilizations in ancient China.”

“It provides significant physical evidence of the far-sighted political strategic thinking and mighty military and national defence forces of central empires in ancient China, and is an outstanding example of the superb military architecture, technology and art of ancient China,” the citation says.

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