China Turns To Crowd-Funding To Restore Its Great Wall

An online campaign is raising money to repair the massive landmark that has attracted millions of tourists over the years.

A crowd-funding campaign to restore the Great Wall of China is underway and has already gathered around $114,000 in a short period.

Run by the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation, the campaign is using individual contributions to protect the great monument since it is something the government cannot do all by itself.

Dong Yaohui, the deputy director of the Great Wall of China Society, oversees the fundraising and hopes to collect approximately $1,650,000 by Dec. 1.  

"Despite the support from the central government, a large part of the Great Wall is at risk and disappearing," he said.

As it appears, extreme weather conditions have caused erosion in the structure, causing parts of the wall to collapse. Interestingly, people have also stolen bricks from the landmark to either keep them as souvenirs or use them for building work in nearby areas.

Some parts of it are even covered by water. 

The restoration efforts hope to fix a section in Xifengkou, Hebei Province, which is more than 500 years old and 460 meters long. The aim of the project is to repair the wall so it ensures safety, rather than rebuilding it. 

However, a number of Chinese internet users are not sure if they should contributing to the cause.

The Great Wall of China is a popular tourist attraction and an iconic site, which is making people wonder why its restoration is dependent on public donations. While some people are asking if donors will be allowed free entrance for the rest of their lives, others are more supportive of the initiative as they wish to preserve what they call the “family estate.”

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Thomas Peter

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