Sometimes history should just be left as it is. An attempt to repair a crumbling part of the Great Wall of China has made the wall look worse and many people are unhappy.
The Chinese government attempted to restore a 1-2 mile stretch of the wall in northeastern China. Although well intentioned, the attempt to fix a section of the wall ended up looking like a drab of gray concrete. Now, citizens and tourists who walk over this section of the wall are simply walking over a smooth section of concrete and aren’t getting the full historical experience.
The wall section that’s currently under restoration was built in 1381 during the Ming Dynasty. Thus, it and the rest of the Great Wall are an important part of world history. Attempting to repair it undermines what the wall represents.
Dong Yaohaui, vice chaiman of the Great Wall Studies Society, said it best. When asked, he stated “This sort of repair work hams the people’s appreciation of the Great Wall’s history and culture, serving a channel of dialogue between the people and cultural heritage.”
In the future, aside from protecting them, governments should simply let historical landmarks be. We don’t want Stonehenge to be updated. We don’t want the Pyramids of Giza turned into a nightclub. We don’t want to the Great Wall to be more user-friendly.