The Crumbling Wall Of China

Thanks to centuries of erosion, decades of tourism, and countless incidents of vandalism, the Great Wall of China is barely a third of its original impressive self. “It is the clearest indication yet that booming China is failing to use its new wealth to conserve what ought to be a source of national pride. Renovations that have been carried out have ended with clumsy exploitation, such as at Badaling, where tourists can ride toboggans and cable cars, eat at a KFC outlet and have their picture taken with camels and life-size cutouts of Mao Zedong.” The Badaling section of the wall alone attracts more than 10 million visitors per year.