Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Sorry, Sorry Tale

The Great Wall’s latest extension (see blog of February 12) has been destroyed in an avalanche of ineptitude. The 999-brick 'fake' Love Wall - erected earlier this year - was said to represent salvation for the heavily-graffitied 'real' Great Wall, next to which it was built. The structure was, apparently, intended to provide an outlet for lovers who can't resist scrawling romantic odes that - owing to the Wall's longevity - they reckon will last an 'eternity'. The stunt, organised by the local management authority for this section of the Wall, received massive publicity in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, garnering headlines across the world. Sadly the PR exercise proved a little too successful as the wall came to the attention of the Beijing Cultural Relics Bureau who, apparently having not been consulted on this, suddenly decided that building a tacky pile of rubbish next to one of the world’s greatest manmade wonders was not really on. The project was 'halted' on February 24 and, earlier this month, the structure was torn down. The four couples who paid RMB 999 to make their 'eternal' mark will apparently be getting a refund.

Never has ‘eternity’ been so short-lived. And never has such crass ineptitude and cynicism been shown up on such a grand scale. Everyone involved in this sorry tale should be utterly ashamed of themselves.