China has had it with people stealing bricks from The Great Wall and its cultural authorities are planning to crack down on the issue.
The State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) announced that frequent inspections and random checks will start taking place along the 13,000 mile stretch of wall.
According to The Guardian, laws surrounding the preservation of the monument have been fairly lax until now.
Typical wear-and-tear due to environmental conditions have contributed to the erosion of a portion of the wall, but officials say that people have exhibited behavior over the years that is destroying it.
Apparently, villagers who live nearby often steal bricks from the wall to use for building materials or even to sell to tourists.
“It doesn’t have large-scale damage, but if you accumulate the different damaged parts, it is very serious,” said Dong Yaohui, China’s Great Wall Society vice-chairman. “The problem is we spend a lot of money on repairing the Great Wall instead of preserving the Great Wall.”
According to SACH, less than 10 percent of the historical structure is considered “well preserved.”
The Great Wall is a significant tourist attraction, drawing in millions of visitors each year. Over time, this has proven to be a gift and a curse for China.
People are not only stealing bricks from the wall, but it is also regularly defaced with graffiti left behind by tourists denoting their visit.
Only time will tell if China’s efforts will truly discourage the thieves from destroying the wall, but if this behavior continues at the rate it’s going, there won’t be much more wall left.
Banner Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons