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Part of the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. (Ming Xia)

Officials Are Giving the Great Wall of China a “Graffiti Zone”

Kilroy was here

smithsonian.com

In China, graffiti on the Great Wall (often in the form of names etched into the stone) has grown so bad that officials there are looking for novel ways to stem the degradation of the nearly-2000-year old wall, says the Guardian. Knowing that they can't actually stop people from scrawling on the wall, officials are looking to at least contain it. They're going to set up a sacrificial graffiti zone:

The graffiti section will be set up at one of the fighting towers that has become a common place for tourists to scrawl on the walls. Authorities have also aired the idea of setting up an electronic touch-screen graffiti wall in the future.

When you consider the laissez-faire parents who let their kids climb all over a $10 million sculpture at London's Tate Modern gallerythe Missouri man who snapped the pinky off a 500-year old sculpture of the Virgin Mary at Florence's Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, the people trying to steal piece of Stonehenge (legally or no), and countless other examples of graffiti on age-old buildings and sculptures, you have to wonder why we have such a bad track record for respecting great works.

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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