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Great Wall of China 'irreversibly damaged' by workers looking for a shortcut

Online posting by Youyu Police on August 31 appears to show a path cutting through a section of the ancient Great Wall in Youyu county in northern China
Online posting by Youyu Police on August 31 appears to show a path cutting through a section of the ancient Great Wall in Youyu county in northern China Copyright AP/Youyu Police
Copyright AP/Youyu Police
By Jonny Walfisz
Published on Updated
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Two construction workers have been arrested for deliberately making an enormous hole you can drive through in the Great Wall of China.

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Chinese police in the Shanxi province have confirmed two construction workers have severely damaged the Great Wall of China.

A 38-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman have been detained by police in Youyu county under suspicion of boring through the national landmark to create a shortcut for construction work.

AP/Youyu Police
Authorities in China arrested two people for smashing a path through a section of the ancient wall, a cultural icon and United Nations protected heritage site.AP/Youyu Police

The Great Wall has been a UNESCO Heritage Site since 1987. First constructed under the reign of Qin Shi Huang around 220 BC to deter advances from northern territories (modern day Mongolia and Russia), the Wall has been rebuilt many times over history. Much of the near 22,000 km wall today was built during the Ming Dynasty in the 17th century.

The area affected by the damage is known as the 32nd Great Wall. The duo are accused with digging a big gap in an existing cavity between two sections of the wall. They widened the gap to create a road through the perimeter.

Police have said the pair have caused “irreversible damage to the integrity of the Ming Great Wall and to the safety of the cultural relics.”

“Currently, the two suspects have been criminally detained in accordance with the law, and the case is continuing to be investigated,” reported CCTV, the nation’s official broadcaster.

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