September 4, 2023 | 3:22 p.m
Two people have been arrested for allegedly making a giant hole in the Great Wall of China with an excavator, likely causing “irreparable” damage – just so they could walk through it while working there.
The damage was found late last month in a section known as the Thirty-Second Great Wall, one of the only surviving sections dating back to the Ming Dynasty from 1368 to 1644, according to state media reports.
Officials believe heavy machinery was used to open a hole in the UNESCO World Heritage site, damaging it beyond repair. China Daily said.
The investigation led to the arrest of two suspects, a 38-year-old man with the surname Zheng and a 55-year-old woman with the last name Wang, the Shanxi Cultural Relics Bureau said Monday.
They were said to be construction workers who widened a gap in the wall to create a shortcut for traffic, said China Daily.
State media said both were accused of destroying a cultural relic.
The Shanxi Cultural Relics Bureau also said it caused “irreparable” damage to the integrity and safety of that part of the 13,000-mile stretch.
The entire Great Wall of China was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.