The 15-year-old Chinese tourist who defaced a relic on his trip to Egypt received a lot of backlash online after the picture of the defaced structure was posted online.
A user posted the picture of a 35,000 years old relic in Luxor Temple on Weibo (China’s microblogging site) which was shared by thousands of people and received hundreds of comments. The vandal had carved the words in Chinese saying ‘Ding Jinhao was here.’
The user who had posted the picture of the vandalized relic said that, “The saddest moment in Egypt. I'm so embarrassed that I want to hide myself.”
The picture got viral over Weibo and also helped Chinese internet users to track down Ding Jinhao who was then showered with a lot of criticism. People in China who came across the news of the incident became really upset and called it a ‘disgrace’ to their entire race. Chinese users also apologized the Egyptian people for the defacing of the stone sculpture.
It was only after the strong online backlash that Jinhao’s parents came forward and apologized for their son’s act of vandalism. According to China Daily, mother of the 15-year-old tourist said, “We want to apologize to the Egyptian people and to people who have paid attention to this case across China.”
The parents apologized both to the Egyptian people and Chinese nation and said that their kid had realized his mistake.
According to state-run news organization Xinhua, “On Monday, cultural heritage authorities in Guazhou County, northwest China's Gansu Province, made a public apology for their poor tourism management which had allowed the act.”
The problem is that the relic is almost 35,000 years old and the staff cannot use water to wipe off the graffiti since it can damage the entire structure. Despite various efforts, the Egyptian staff couldn’t totally remove the graffiti from the sculpture which is indeed a grave historical loss.
This also calls for stricter measures concerning tourism and tourist activities. People ought to realize and must be made aware of the fact that historical objects are not meant to be touched or handled, not by the 15-year-old kids at least. A little bit of carelessness can lead to a great deal of damage. And this is exactly what has happened in this case.