China: Great Wall gets graffiti zone
Part of the Great Wall of China is getting a designated graffiti area to prevent visitors from writing on the famous monument, it appears.
Mutianyu, 40 miles (70km) north-east of the capital Beijing, is one of the most popular and best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, and officials are annoyed that tourists insist on leaving their mark, despite warning signs forbidding the practice, the China Daily newspaper reports.
Now, visitors will be able to leave graffiti at the special zone in the Wall's Number 14 Fighting Tower building, with plans for two more areas to open if the initiative works. An "electronic graffiti board" has also been mentioned, although it is not clear what this might actually entail.
"As many tourists like to carve words on buildings, we will develop the graffiti writing area as a new scenic spot of Mutianyu," a Great Wall administration official told China Daily. Another official said giving visitors an approved place to leave their mark would better protect the ancient buildings in the long run.
According to the newspaper, English is the language most frequently seen on the monument, but a host of other languages are also represented.
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