Experts urge unified repair standards for Great Wall after botched repair of primitive section

(People’s Daily Online)

By Yuan Can


Xiaohekou Great Wall after the repair work (photo from Weibo)


A cultural relics expert recently gave an interview expressing regret that a section of Great Wall in northeastern China’s Liaoning province has been ruined by repair work, and urging China to introduce standards for such repair work, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Photos show that the Xiaohekou section of the wall, built in 1381 during the Ming Dynasty, is now covered in lime. Gao Jinxu, a photographer, told Beijing News that the section was full of historical significance before the repair work was done.

“Workers there told me that the repair plan instructed them to wipe the wall with mortar to ensure that it wouldn’t collapse,” said Gao. The repair work was done in accordance with plans released two years ago.


Unrepaired section of Xiaohekou Great Wall


There is no need to blame technology, said Ding Hui, head of the Liaoning Cultural Relics Bureau. In an interview with the Beijing News, Ding also acknowledged that the wall is “ugly” after the repair work.

It is right to repair the Great Wall with lime rather than cement, but the repair work cannot be done like this, expressed Dong Huihui, an expert specializing in Great Wall studies, in an interview with Beijing Youth Daily. Dong worries that people will lose the sense of history if the Great Wall is repaired in this way. Dong suggested that authorities review the repair work done on the wall in the last decades and work out a unified standard for repair.

According to reports, Liaoning cultural authorities have sent experts to the Xiaohekou section for further investigation.


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