The Chinese Police have arrested two persons for smashing through a section of the Great Wall of China. The wall, which is one of the world’s biggest treasures, is over 21,000 km long, or half the length of the equator. It is also the largest man-made project in the world.
The duo, a 38-year-old man surnamed Zheng and a 55-year-old woman surnamed Wang, were accused of breaking through the wall with an excavator. Both are construction workers engaged in some projects in the nearby town.
Authorities have disclosed the motive behind the action, and it’s a weird one. Local police believe that the pair broke down the affected section to create a shortcut to their construction site.
Sadly, the affected part of the wall was one of the oldest sections, which was constructed over 2,000 years ago. Due to its age, the section possessed high research value.
It is believed that it was China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, who got the idea to build a wall. After gathering remnants and rubbles of earthworks, historic fortifications, and city walls, he then began to piece these rocks to erect a giant wall in 259 – 210 BC.
This claim is widely disputed. Some other historians believe that construction work had begun much earlier, as far back as 770 BC.
The edifice, which is a collection of multiple walls, was designed to serve as a military defense from China’s northern enemies. The wall is thick enough (about 7 meters) to contain 3 cars placed side-by-side.
Besides its discouraging thickness, it was built over a series of mountain ridges. Enemy armies had to invest lots of time and energy in climbing to reach it.
The structure endured several assaults over two centuries. In 1644, the invading Manchu tribe warriors from the north of China broke down the wall before taking over the empire. Later on, local villagers plundered it for its two major building materials, which are stones and bricks.
The Communist government later decided to initiate heavy construction work on the broken sections of the wall. They hoped that the rebuilding of the wall would inspire national unity and patriotism in the country. It worked.
The Great Wall of China has not only been regarded as a symbol of national pride, but it has also become a global treasure. Now, over 10 million tourists visit the wall every year.
The structure has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World and also one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Although the wall has faced existential threats from natural forces like desertification and other extreme climatic conditions, the government wants to make sure every act of deliberate human damage doesn’t go unpunished. Presently, the Youyu County administration is preparing to launch legal action against Zheng and Wang for destroying a part of this national treasure. These punitive efforts are part of the government’s battle to preserve the wall, of which more than 60% is in bad shape.