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What You Can Expect from the Great Wall Renovation

What You Can Expect from the Great Wall Renovation

By Rose Salas
 
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The Great Wall, known as one of the greatest wonders of the world, owes its fame to its historical significance and remarkable architectural splendour. This 6,700-kilometer ancient wall demonstrated the resplendence and uniqueness in style of a massive construction that was built to protect its people thousands of years ago. Nowadays, this magnificent wall attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. In fact, you would not call it a satisfying trip if you don’t visit it in Beijing. It became a symbol that represents national spirit and patriotism.
 
As years passed, the natural occurrence of calamities and human destruction caused the Wall to lose some of its parts. Huge sections were already in ruins. According to Yanquing cultural relic’s authority, Great Wall calls for rescue.  Seen on the news are pictures circulating from the Internet which the tourists have taken showing some sections that were concreted. It became alarming since the tourists captioned it negatively, saying it hasn’t been maintained properly, and hence is showing drastic changes from how it originally looked years ago. Even Deputy Director Dong Yaohui of the Great Wall of China Society admits that the restoration work had not been up to the standard. People responded in Chinese social media with an outrage when it was tagged as “China’s Great Wall of Concrete”.
 
In June 2017, another draft was released for the restoration project. With the new renovation plans in place, what are the things we can look forward to in this country’s iconic wonder?
 
1. Use of old  materials and traditional craftsmanship
 
To preserve the original structure of the Wall, no major construction will be done. For example, some sections that have already collapsed or disappeared will be reconstructed as per the original layout. Original bricks will be used but if they can’t find the exact ones, it would have to be new bricks with almost the exact specifications.
 
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2. Team of skilled workers working on the repairs
 
The team that is working rigorously not only comprises of ordinary workers but those who have been trained and know how to do the “bricking job”. Since it is very dangerous to work on the wall’s steep sides, they have to be extremely careful as their lives are at risk. They are exerting intense physical efforts in the Jiankou section by applying historically appropriate techniques. They want to preserve the original structure and rugged beauty of this part as much as possible.
 
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3. Regain and preserve China’s pride
 
If the purpose of the reconstruction before was to attract millions of tourists, the goal now is to preserve the beauty, century-old value and historic heritage for future generations. Even the district governments are working hand in hand to oversee the on-going repairs. The unsightly repairs which were previously done were critisized as being shoddy. Now, they are rebuilding the Wall one brick at a time!

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4. High Definition CCTV cameras installed
 
Over 300-high definition cameras were set up since August to avoid vandalism from tourists. These cameras will provide real-time monitoring and record any incident that will serve as evidence if someone violates the sanctity of this historic site. If caught, the person will be banned from visiting again. 
 
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5. High-Speed Rail tunnel  below the Great Wall
 
A 12-km long high-speed train tunnel is now being constructed through the Badaling section of this iconic wall. This will speed up the journey hours from 3 to 1 for traveling up to 350km/hour. It is expected to be completed in 2019 and will be connected to Zhangjiakou city that will co-host 2022 winter Olympics along with Beijing.
 
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Though the Great Wall has been rebuilt countless times over the centuries by different dynasties, it has not lost its grandeur. Some netizens commented that if only the government did a regular maintenance instead of waiting for it to collapse, it could have saved the country from being in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. The ancient wonder that amazed the world was said to have looked like a modern-day biking path. However, with all the efforts being done now, I believe that they’ll be able to bring back the grandeur of this historical spot. Tourists or even locals would keep the Great Wall as part of their Bucket List destinations and would be interested to see the new fixes as though nothing has changed. 
 

 

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