Repairs Done on China’s Great Wall Cause Outrage

November 28, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. preservationist / ˌprɛz ərˈveɪ ʃə nɪst / (n.) – a person who helps protect places, such as historical sites or wildlife areas, from damage
ExamplePreservationists are planning to repair the historical landmark.

2. heritage / ˈhɛr ɪ tɪdʒ / (adj.) – relating to something that has been passed down from generation to generation
Example: The country named the 400-year-old university as a national heritage site.

3. come to light / kʌm tu laɪt / (idiom) – to become known
Example: The thief’s identity came to light after the investigation.
4. well-preserved / ˈwɛl prɪˈzɜrvd / (adj.) – in good condition
Example: The 50-year-old book is well-preserved.

5. crowdfunding / ˈkraʊdˌfʌn dɪŋ / (n.) – the process of raising funds for a cause by asking several people through the Internet
Example: She turned to crowdfunding to raise money for the charity.


Read the text below.
Chinese preservationists and several others are dismayed over badly done repairs to the Great Wall.

The widely criticized restoration project involves the repair of a 700-year-old section of the world heritage site. The Great Wall, which was originally made from stone, brick, and wood, was reportedly repaired using sand and concrete, making it look like a sidewalk. The repairs were done in 2014, but only came to light after photos of the work surfaced on Weibo, a Chinese social networking site.

Chinese officials insisted that the urgent renovation was an effort to fix broken gaps and add an extra layer of protection to the walls. They said that the 8-kilometer stretch of the ancient structure was in danger of collapsing due to erosion and centuries of use. Being a famous landmark, over four million tourists visit the heritage site each year.

According to a survey by the China Great Wall Society, a non-governmental organization that protects the landmark, only around 8.2% of the Great Wall is well-preserved. This prompted the China Foundation for Culture Heritage Conservation to turn to crowdfunding in the hopes of raising $1.6 million for the restoration of the Great Wall.

According to the deputy director of China Great Wall Society, the failed restoration attempt took away part of China’s history. Dating back to 220 B.C., the Great Wall of China is a national symbol for security of the country and its people. It is the world’s largest military structure that was built to protect the territory against invasion.

Meanwhile, China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage promised to investigate the restoration project to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What should have been done to preserve parts of the Great Wall?
·         Who do you think should take responsibility for the failed repairs? Why?

Discussion B

·         In your opinion, what should be the criteria for choosing heritage sites? Give an example.
·         Why should heritage sites be preserved? Discuss.

November 28, 2016