Great Wall of China severely damaged by workers looking for a shortcut

Two people were detained after allegedly digging a hole using an excavator, local authorities said

Liu Mancang/Xinhua via Getty Images

China’s Great Wall has stood for centuries, through war and upheaval — but one section of the vast structure was seemingly no match for two workers seeking a shortcut.

A part of the wall in northern China has been severely damaged by a pair of construction workers using an excavator, local authorities said.

The two suspects, a 38-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman, were detained, according to the police department at Youyu County in the northern province of Shanxi. They had widened an existing cavity in the wall, digging a “large gap” to allow their excavator through as a shortcut for work nearby, police said in a statement Thursday.

The police said that they had caused “irreversible damage” to the integrity and safety of the cultural relic. Authorities received a report about the alleged damage on Aug. 24 and the case was still under investigation, police said.

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