Great Wall plundered for road paving
Almost 100 meters of the Great Wall in Xinxing village, Zhongwei City was destroyed last month after being plundered for road building materials, according to Ningxia Daily.
Zhongwei's public security bureau has begun investigations into the case, in which material from the wall is thought to have been used to pave a road.
Shi Yuqing, a staff clerk at the Zhongwei Municipal Museum, said the destroyed segment was about 30 kilometers from the city center. The area's sections of wall were built west to east during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) from Gansu Province to Ningxia.
According to Shi, someone reported the incident to the museum on the afternoon of January 25 and specialists went to investigate the next morning.
The regional cultural relics bureau then got involved, and after two days of work, established that nearly 100 meters of visible and intact Great Wall had been intentionally leveled. With the local culture department, they decided to take it to the police.
An official from the bureau, Xu Cheng, said that the construction unit that had destroyed the section should be forced to mend it, and hoped they would be punished severely for their crime.
Dong Yaohui, vice president of the China Great Wall Academy, said most of region's sections are made from rammed earth, which is often coveted as an excellent construction material.
"Between 60 and 70 percent of the Great Wall in Ningxia is made of this material. If people destroy it wantonly over and over again, most of it will disappear." He said the fact that the construction unit acted at night shows they knew they were violating the law, and should be punished accordingly.
But last year about 400 meters of the Great Wall in Zhongwei were destroyed and those responsible have yet to be punished.
Dong said that, several years ago, a taskmaster who plundered the wall's rammed earth was only punished with an 80,000-yuan (US$9,666) fine. He noted that this was less than it would have cost to buy legal construction materials, so was not an effective deterrent.