You should see it while you still can.
The Great Wall of China has stood as one of the world’s marvels since construction began on it nearly 2,000 years ago, but roughly 30% of the wall has crumbled, according to NBC News.
Exposure to weather, overgrown plants, tourism and vandalism are the main causes of the wall’s deterioration. The UNESCO World Heritage site has also been compromised by people stealing bricks as souvenirs and also to build homes in rural China.
The Beijing Times reports that 1,962 km of the wall has been destroyed over time. They also report that tourists going to explore the lesser developed parts of the wall have led to those parts weakening and holes appearing in the wall. Additionally, it is difficult to call for government assistant with regulating and upkeep of the site due to the fact that it borders two different provinces, so who is responsible for what and which province to petition can be tricky.
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“The destruction of the Great Wall has natural and human causes,” said Dong Yaohui, vice chairman of the nonprofit Great Wall Society to NBC News. “The urgent task is to protect what is left.”
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Banner photo credit: Flickr/Marianna