Great Wall of China damaged 'irreversibly' after workers smash 'big gap' in ancient landmark to create a shortcut

6 September 2023, 12:36 | Updated: 6 September 2023, 12:47

Two construction workers have been arrested for smashing a hole in the Great Wall of China
Two construction workers have been arrested for smashing a hole in the Great Wall of China. Picture: Youyu Public Security Bureau

By Emma Soteriou

The Great Wall of China has been damaged "irreversibly" after construction workers smashed a "big gap" in it as a shortcut.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Two construction workers were arrested after smashing a hole in the ancient landmark to save time.

They allegedly used an excavator to dig a hole in the area known as the 32nd Wall so that their machinery could fit through.

The duo wanted to reduce the distance they had to travel, police said.

They added that they caused "irreversible damage to the integrity of the Ming Great Wall and to the safety of the cultural relics".

The pair remain in custody with further legal action pending, the Youyu County government said.

Read more: ‘Theme park’ accusations as Venice makes tourists pay for entry tickets

Read more: Devastating footage shows scale of flood-ravaged Skiathos as Brit holidaymakers trapped in hotels and airports

The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China. Picture: Alamy

Officers were made aware of the damage at the end of August, after receiving reports that there was a huge gap in the wall.

A local police statement read: "At about 4:20pm on August 24, the County Public Security Bureau Command Centre received an alarm saying that a gap had been dug in the Thirty-Two Great Wall in Yang Qianhe Township. 

"After receiving the alarm, the Criminal Investigation Team quickly rushed to the scene. After inspecting the traces on the scene, the police initially determined that the ancient Great Wall was damaged due to excavation by large machinery. 

"Subsequently, the police patrolled the line and found an excavator and a man and a woman in neighbouring counties. 

"After on-site questioning, it was found that the ancient Great Wall was destroyed by the two people. The police summoned the two people back to the county public security bureau for further investigation."

The Great Wall stretches approximately 5,500 miles and was built mainly during the Ming dynasty that lasted until 1644.

It was later abandoned and plundered for bricks and stones by local villagers, only to be revived by the communist government as a symbol of patriotism, mass mobilisation and resistance to outside pressure.

It has been a Unesco world heritage site since 1987.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Former Conservative Party donor John Caudwell has said he is backing Labour to win the General Election.

Former Tory donor John Caudwell backs Labour in General Election

Sir Ian McKellen was taken to hospital after he fell from the stage during a West End performance

Sir Ian McKellen 'looking forward to returning to work' as he thanks NHS staff for help after falling off West End stage

British teen missing in Tenerife after desperately calling friends from 'the middle of nowhere' on night out

Desperate mum of British teen missing in Tenerife 'beside herself with worry' as she flies out to help with search

Mysterious smoking headless torso missing arms and legs dumped on popular Spanish holiday beach

Horror as smoking headless torso missing arms, legs and head dumped on popular Spanish holiday beach

Hamish Harding ignored warnings over the Titan sub.

British billionaire 'ignored stark warning over Titan sub' as previous record-breaking dive gave him 'false sense of security'

The King and Queen have wished the racegoers the "best of luck" in chasing the "thrill of a Royal Ascot winner".

King and Queen wish Royal Ascot attendees 'best of luck' chasing race winner

Chris Marriott, 46, was helping a woman when they were driven over by a Seat Ibiza car in Sheffield

Father killed by car used 'as a weapon' as he tried to help stranger, jury told

Rugby Union player Connor Garden-Bachop has died at the age of 25 after a 'medical event', New Zealand Rugby has confirmed.

New Zealand rugby player Connor Garden-Bachop, 25, dies after 'medical event'

Mr Sunak was joined by Foreign Secretary David Cameron for the first time on the campaign

Flock of sheep flee as Rishi Sunak and David Cameron try to feed them

Olympic athletes ‘could die of overheating’ due to 'dangerous temperatures' at Paris 2024 Games

Olympic athletes ‘could die of overheating’ due to 'dangerous temperatures' at Paris 2024 Games

Comedian Victoria Vera Blyth was killed by her husband David Thomas Blyth

British businessman shoots his TV star wife dead in murder-suicide after 'row over her text messages' at Turkey home

Tattooed woman in black hunted by police after schoolboy, 12, was brutally attacked during attempted robbery

Tattooed woman in black hunted by police after schoolboy, 12, is attacked walking home from school

A decision not to charge police officers involved in the original Stephen Lawrence murder investigation has been upheld by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Stephen Lawrence murder detectives will not face prosecution, CPS announces

Justin Timberlake has been arrested for “driving while intoxicated”

Justin Timberlake arrested for 'driving while intoxicated' in wealthy Hamptons enclave

Three children went missing after a day at Thorpe Park

Three children missing after day out at Thorpe Park found safe and well by police

Keir Starmer responds to callers about Palestine.

Starmer says he would take 'full part' in resolving Israel Gaza conflict, pledging to recognise Palestine as part of two-state solution