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'The Piano Guys' scales the Great Wall for video shoot

Internet sensation, the Piano Guys are in China. The Utah-based group took some precious time off their Asian tour in Singapore and Malaysia to fulfil their China dream - shooting a music video on the Great Wall of China...

September 16, 2013
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Great Wall Forest Festival kicks off

The 2013 Yanqing Great Wall Forest Festival, the fourth edition of its kind, was held from August 24 to August 25 in the Tanglewood Music Valley at the foot of the Great Wall Badaling Section in Beijing's Yanqing County...

August 29, 2013
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Jet Team above the Great Wall

Aircraft of Breitling Jet Team, a famous European aerobatic team, perform above the Great Wall of the Jiayuguan Pass in northwest China's Gansu Province, Aug. 13, 2013...

August 16, 2013
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Unique section of the Great Wall draws in visitors

As people all know what the Great Wall looks like but did you know that some of it is built over water? The Jiumenkou section of the wall in Liaoning Province in North East China is famous for just that...

  August 09, 2013
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Illegal mining destroys ancient Great Wall

Police in north China have arrested four people allegedly involved in an illegal mining operation that destroyed a section of the Great Wall.

The alleged ringleader of the gang, a 40-year-old man with the surname Wang, allegedly claimed that they destroyed part of the Great Wall with mining machines over a weeklong period in middle October.

An investigation by the local cultural relics bureau found a section of the Wall 10 meter high and 23 meters long had been destroyed at Luliang Mountain, Qingshuihe County, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The section had totally collapsed and a 1,000-square-meter protection area around the Wall has also been damaged, the bureau officials said.

The part of Great Wall, originally built in the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.- 220 A.D.) and rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is on the main trunk of the Wall, which runs from the Shanhaiguan Pass in north China's Hebei Province westward to Gansu's Jiayuguan Pass.

"This section of Great Wall was made of mud rather than brick and stone and is more prone to erosion or damage from human activities," said Wang Dashan, a regional cultural protection expert.

The Great Wall, which was listed as the United Nations World Heritage Site in 1987, was first built in the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.) to defend China against invasion by northern nomadic tribes. It was rebuilt and extended many times through history and earlier records indicated it stretched about 6,000 kilometers.

Like any other architectural site in the world, the Great Wall is at risk of damage caused by natural and human activities. In some sections, its bricks and dirt have even been used as construction materials.

"Only a small portion of the Great Wall is under protection, and about 90 percent of it, mostly in remote areas, lacks proper protection," said Dong yaohui, deputy chairman of the China Great Wall Association.

In 2004, the Great Wall was listed as an endangered site by the World Monuments Fund, a New York-based nonprofit organization on preservation of cultural and architecture sites.

The State Council, or China's Cabinet, issued a regulation in September last year banning vandalism and driving on the Great Wall, taking soil or bricks, and building on it.

Meanwhile, China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) and State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM) are carrying out a geographical survey of the Great Wall. Statistics including its exact length and layout will be released in 2008.

(Xinhua News Agency November 8, 2007)

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