A dangerous but picturesque section of the Great Wall in Beijing is undergoing renovation after becoming popular with intrepid hikers, but experts believed the renovation is a temporary measure that cannot tangibly protect the relic.
The undeveloped Jiankou section of the Great Wall in Huairou district of Beijing is called "wild wall" for being rugged, craggy and sometimes dangerous. The section that needs repair is 1,003 meters long, 30 percent of which has been completed, the Beijing Times reported on Thursday.
The 1-kilometer-long renovation will cost as much as 20 million yuan ($3 million), said Guo Dapeng, deputy head of the Huairou cultural heritage committee.
"It is very time-consuming and requires a large number of manual laborers to carry new grey bricks and stones up to the precipitous mountains by foot," He Xinyu, a researcher specializing in the protection of the Great Wall at the Ningxia Museum, told the Global Times.
The section is so sublime, steep and perilous that it emboldens a great number of hikers and tourists to climb, Guo said.
Jiankou has witnessed many cases of hikers trapped in danger. One climber fell to death in 2014 and over 150 people were rescued after they fell from the dilapidated Great Wall in 2013, the Beijing Evening News reported.
"Compared to the current methods to restore the Great Wall, the cultural authorities should focus on hiring more law enforcers to supervise activities on the vast expanse of the Wall with more funds," said Cheng Dalin, an expert with the Great Wall Research Committee with the Chinese Association of Cultural Relics.
Moreover, since different departments and administrative areas are involved with the management of the Great Wall, such as the bureau of parks and woods, the forestry bureau and the cultural relics bureau, their supervision should be combined into one law enforcement department, Cheng said.
Built over a range of periods spanning from the 3rd century BC to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Great Wall stretches more than 21,000 kilometers from Northwest China's Gansu Province to North China's Hebei Province, Xinhua reported.
According to statistics from the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, about 30 percent of 6,200 kilometers of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty have disappeared, and less than 10 percent is considered well-preserved.
The Great Wall has faced threats from both nature and humans. Human activities - such as reckless development by some local governments, theft of bricks by villagers for use as building materials and use of areas adjacent to the wall for agriculture - have also damaged the landmark, according to research by the China Great Wall Society.
Cultural heritage authorities confirmed on September 28 that a section of the Great Wall in Northeast China's Liaoning Province was paved with cement during restoration, after a public outcry over potential damage to the historical site.
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