China's Great Wall is crumbling

A third of UNESCO World Heritage Site has disappeared

Updated: 
China great wall
China's Great Wall Is Crumbling

Nearly a third of the Great Wall of China has disappeared over the years and more of the UNESCO World Heritage Site is at risk of crumbling due to reckless human activities.

The tourist attraction stretches up to 13,000 miles but more than 700 miles of the wall are in extremely poor shape.

According to the Beijing Times, the site is now 30 per cent smaller than it once was.

The main causes of its decline were identified as the effects of nature and people stealing the bricks to build houses.

A survey by the Great Wall of China Society found that plants growing in the walls have also accelerated its decay.

"Even though some of the walls are built of bricks and stones, they cannot withstand the perennial exposure to wind and rain," Dong Yaohui, vice-president of the society told the Beijing Times.

"Many towers are becoming increasingly shaky and may collapse in a single rain storm in summer."

ITV News reports that villagers are also reportedly selling the bricks as souvenirs. There are laws against defacing the Great Wall, with fines of up to £512, but officials says they are hard to enforce.

Jia Hailin, the director of the Cultural Relics Protection department, told the Global Times: "There is no specific organisation to enforce the rules.

"Damage can only be reported to higher authorities and it is hard to solve when it happens on the border of two provinces."

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