World’s worst restoration? China’s Great Wall covered in cement

Story highlights

Cement repair widely denounced online by angry netizens

Expert said the repairs had taken away "history"

CNN  — 

It’s the repair job that’s so ugly you can probably see it from space.

A 700-year-old “wild” stretch of China’s Great Wall has been covered in a smooth, white trail of cement under orders from Suizhong county’s Cultural Relics Bureau, Sina reported on Wednesday.

The repairs were carried out in 2014, but they only came to public attention recently.

great wall china cement repair holmes_00002808.jpg
China covers portions of Great Wall with cement
00:40 - Source: CNN

It was an effort to restore parts of the wall which have fallen into disrepair and are not open to the public, but the restoration has been met with condemnation by social media users and advocates.

The repair work took place near the border of Liaoning and Hebei province and photos of the results were widely shared by Beijing News on Weibo this week.

CNN has reached out to the local Heritage Conservation Bureau for comment.

Read more: Crowdfunding launched to preserve Great Wall

Restoration ‘took away history’

Chinese internet users have slammed the repair job, with the Weibo hashtag “The most beautiful, wild Great Wall flattened” trending online.

“Glad Venus de Milo is not in China, or someone would get her a new arm,” one user said.

A photo from before China's Great Wall was cemented.

Great Wall of China Society deputy director Dong Yaohui said the restoration work had been done “very badly”. “It damaged the original look of the Great Wall and took away the history from the people.”

Dong said it was important for the Chinese government as a whole to regulate and streamline Great Wall restoration efforts.

RELATED: Why China’s super wealthy don’t want western-looking homes anymore

“Although the local government was well intentioned and wanted to restore the bricks of the Wall, the result turned out to be the opposite.”

Since 2006, the Great Wall Protection Ordinance in China introduced strict rules for the development of tourist destinations.