Sept. 5 (UPI) — Chinese authorities have arrested two construction workers accused of using an excavator to dig a hole through the Great Wall in central Shanxi province, according to local reports.
The Shanxi Cultural Relics Bureau said Monday that the two people used the excavator to dig a shortcut through the 32nd Great Wall, which dates back to the Ming Dynasty of 1368-1644, in Youyu county, Shanxi province, state-run China Daily reported.
The suspects have been identified by local police as a 38-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman, according to Sina.
Local police were notified of the damage at about 4:20 p.m. on Aug. 24. After following tracks from the damaged site, officers located the excavator and the pair of suspects, who told the authorities that they dug the hole in order to create a shortcut through the ancient wall to lessen the distance the excavator had to travel for their construction work.
China Daily reports that the section of wall has been “damaged beyond repair.”
The iconic Great Wall of China was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. According to the U.N. agency, the wall, which runs some 13,000 miles across the country, began construction in 220 B.C. and had been continuously built until the 17th Century.
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This story was originally published September 5, 2023, 3:29 AM.