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People outraged at “repairs” to a 700-year-old part of Great Wall

The Great Wall of China. A stirring symbol of national pride whose overlapping sections span thousands of miles. A crumbling, melancholy monument to China's imperial grandeur, so imposing that it inspired the flimsy myth that it is visible from the moon.

中国的长城。其错落的组成绵延万里,是一个令人心潮澎湃的民族自豪感的象征。长城也是中国皇家气势的纪念碑,虽破碎不堪、令人悲哀,但如此地雄伟,以至于有人编造了这个不堪一击的神话:从月球上也可以看到长城。

One part of the Great Wall is even more visible now, but for very wrong reasons.

有一段长城现在已经变得更加显眼,但原因却非常糟糕。

Chinese preservationists, internet users and media commentators have been incensed this week after pictures showed that officials repaired part of the Great Wall in northeast China by slapping a white substance on top of the crumbling, weathered stones.

本周,中国的文物保护者、网民和媒体评论员被他们看到的图片激怒了,图片显示,有关方面在风化的条石上涂抹了一层白色的材料,用这个方法修复了东北的一段摇摇欲坠的长城。

A once unkempt, haunting 700-year-old stretch of the wall now looks like a cement skateboarding lane dumped in the wilderness.

这段曾令人回味700年沧桑的昔日野长城,现在看起来好像是荒野中从天而降的一条水泥滑板道。

The aesthetic impact was "not ideal," the head of the provincial cultural relics bureau, Ding Hui, conceded, according to The Beijing News. "The repairs really don't look good," he said.

据《新京报》报道,辽宁省文物局局长丁辉承认,表面上看起来并不理想。"确实修得不好看,"他说。

Online, in newspapers and in interviews, many people, including experts on preserving the Great Wall, went much further in condemning the repairs to the section, in Suizhong County, Liaoning Province.

在网上、报纸上和采访中,包括长城保护专家在内的很多人都更加尖锐地谴责了辽宁省绥中县这段长城的修缮工作。

"This was vandalism done in the name of preservation," Liu Fusheng, a park officer from the county who first raised an outcry about the work, said in a telephone interview. "Even the little kids here know that this repair of the Great Wall was botched."

"这是在以保护的名义搞破坏,"最先提出强烈抗议的该县园区官员刘福生在接受电话采访时说。"就连这里的小孩子都知道这次修缮搞砸了。"

Newspapers also lamented. The Beijing News, widely read in the capital, put the ruination of the ruins on its front page.

报纸也在感叹这件事。北京人喜欢看的《新京报》把遗迹遭破坏的消息登在了头版。

"Where is there still any feel of that most beautiful wild Great Wall?" asked a commentary on a news website in central China. "It's just a road winding through the hills."

"这哪里还有一点最美野长城的味道?"中国中部的一家新闻网站在一篇评论文章中诘问。"完全是一条山间的公路。"

The repairs to the 1.2-mile section of the wall were undertaken two years ago but came to wide attention only on Wednesday, after a local newspaper, The Huashang Morning News, described what had been done in the name of preservation.

这段约8.9公里的长城的修缮工作是两年前开始的,但直到本周三,当地报纸《华商晨报》描述了在保护的名义下发生了什么事情之后,此事才引起了人们的广泛关注。

Mr. Liu, who helped draw notice to the work, said officials commissioned the repairs because they were worried the wall would collapse entirely from erosion and tourists walking on top. But in their haste, they wiped out the gnarled features that people had come to treasure, including the crenelations and towers, Mr. Liu said.

引起人们关注此事的刘福生说,官员们担心水土流失加上游客在这段长城上行走,会导致其彻底倒塌,于是找人来修缮。但在匆忙之中,他们抹平了人们珍视的原生风貌,包括垛口墙和敌楼,刘福生说。

"It's like a head that's lost its nose and ears," said Mr. Liu, who has spent 15 years studying that section of the wall. Once the towers there had stone carvings, but they had fallen to the ground before the repairs, he said.

"就好比是脑袋上的鼻子耳朵都没了,"研究这段长城已经15年的刘福生说。垛口墙上曾有石雕像,但在修缮之前,有些已经落到了地上,他说。

"They didn't restore the carvings back to where they belonged and just tossed them aside," Mr. Liu said. "They used new bricks to fill in the original spots, and that saved a lot of expense."

"他们没有把石雕像恢复到原来的位置上,而且直接扔到一边,"刘福生说。"他们用新砖来填补原先的缺口,那么做节省了大量费用。"

Construction of that section of the wall started in 1381, part of the sprawling web of fortifications and protections that Ming dynasty emperors built to ward off and police marauding nomads from the steppes.

这段长城始建于1381年,是明朝皇帝修建的庞大防御工事和保护网的一部分,目的是抵御草原上的游牧民、维护治安。

But now city dwellers who come to marvel at the isolated section of the wall in Suizhong County leave wondering why they bothered to travel so far to see a strip of cement, one villager living nearby told The Huashang Morning News.

但是,如今的城市居民如果想到绥中县来观光这段偏远的长城的话,会觉得没必要大老远跑来看一条水泥道,住在附近一位村民居的告诉《华商晨报》。

Officials have sworn that they did not use cement but rather a mix of lime and sand. Mr. Liu said they used both.

官员们发誓说并未使用水泥,而是用了石灰和沙子的混合物。刘福生说,他们两种材料都用了。

In an interview, Dong Yaohui, a vice chairman of the China Great Wall Society and an expert on preserving the wall, called the attempt an "extremely rudimentary mistake."

中国长城学会副会长、长城保护专家董耀会在接受采访时称这次修缮是一个"极其低级的错误"。

"Our principle in repairing the Great Wall is to minimize interference," Mr. Dong said. "It's not important whether you used lime or cement. Repairing it like this has wiped out all the culture and history."

"我们修复长城的原则是尽量减少干预,"董耀会说。"你用的砂浆还是水泥并不重要。像这样进行修缮,已经把文化和历史统统都抹去了。"

He said the society, a government-sponsored organization, had been investigating damage along the entire Great Wall in the hope of spurring more action and stronger rules to preserve it. "There's serious damage on many parts of the Great Wall," he said.

他说,由政府资助的长城协会已经在沿着整个长城调查损坏情况,希望能激发更多的保护行动和更有力的保护规则。"长城有很多地方受损严重,"他说。

Cultural preservation officials responsible for that part of the wall defended their efforts. They said that the section was in danger of falling down, that the higher authorities approved their plans and that, like emergency dental work, beauty was not their priority.

负责这段长城的文物保护官员坚称他们的做法没有问题。他们说,那段长城有倒塌的危险,上级主管部门批准了他们的方案,而且,就像牙科急诊一样,美观不是他们优先考虑的问题。

But since the uproar, the officials have conceded that the results were less than satisfactory. They are "further investigating whether there were problems in the design and execution stages," Beijing Youth Daily reported.

但是自从这件事引起舆论哗然之后,这些官员承认,修缮的效果不尽如人意。他们正在"对设计和施工环节是否存在问题等情况进行进一步的调查",《北京青年报》报道说。

One villager who worked on the repairs two years ago saw a silver lining to the topping.

两年前参加过修缮工作的一位村民看到了抹平之后的一点好处。

"Now the top of the Great Wall has become a smooth pavement," the villager, Zhang Yuwu, told The Huashang Morning News. "Except when it rains or snows, it's a lot easier to walk on than before."

"现在长城顶面变成了溜光的路面,如果不下雨雪,走道是比原来好走了。"村民张玉武对《华商晨报》说。

Source: New York Times

2016-09-23

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