The Great Wall of China in Serious Danger from Mining

Culture/History, Travel News — By christinegarvin on November 9, 2011 at 4:54 pm

That great wall that many of us want to visit may not be there by the time we get to visit.

Yep, all of the changes that have happened in China in the past couple of decades, including the intense development of business and infrastructure, is threatening the country’s most famous landmark. The Great Wall of China, the building of which began in 220 BC and was revived in the 14th century AD, has withstood invasion time and again. That is, until the invasion of natural-resources-greed.

Mining seems to be the main culprit behind the literal crumbling of the 4,000 mile-long Wall. The Telegraph notes there are photographs which show that “huge holes have been punched through the wall in some areas,” partly because a great deal of the mining around the Wall is performed illegally.

Image: Francisco Diez/Flickr

According to protection agencies, it is virtually impossible to monitor the entire length of the Wall, and so prospecting for copper, iron, molybdenum, and nickel frequently occurs too close to the historic icon.

The parts of the Wall generally visited by tourists, such as those close to Beijing, are the ones being taken care of, while huge chunks of other parts have already crumbled. It seems it’s not just mining that is causing the issue, but also a lack of general maintenance.

The Great Wall is not the only historical site that is falling apart – check out UNESCO World Heritage sites that are in danger around the world.

More and more, we are seeing both the physical and environmental impact of digging for natural resources to maintain our lifestyles. But China continues to move full speed ahead with economic development, so who knows what will happen to this famous site, sooner rather than later.

Tags: China, economic development, famous landmarks, Great Wall of China, historical landmark falling apart, UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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