Lonely Planet Writer

China could use online crowdfunding to help restore parts of the Great Wall

Heritage officials in China have turned to crowdfunding as a way of paying for restoration work on the Great Wall of China.

 Great Wall crowdfunding campaign
The 13170 mile Great Wall of China. Image by Rob Zebrowski / CC BY 2.0

The 13,170 mile long monument is arguably one of the world’s most iconic shrines. Authorities are looking for public contributions to restore just 1050 metres and already have received about 300,000 yuan (£34,000) since the scheme began at the start of this month. The appeal by the government-supervised China Foundation for Cultural Heritage conservation has led to 16,000 people donating online, according to the BBC. The body was quoted by China Radio International as saying the wall was “in serious need of repair.”

The Great Wall of China, has lost nearly one third of its length due to natural weather reasons but also from pilfering of bricks by locals and tourists
The Great Wall of China, has lost nearly one third of its length due to natural weather erosion.

The Great Wall has experienced erosion through adverse weather conditions, but also from tourists who take bricks from the wall as souvenirs.  The authorities carry our regular checks to prevent such thefts.

The erection of the wall initially began over two thousand years ago but much of what tourists visit today was built during 1368-1644 AD period during the Ming Dynasty.  While China is one of the world’s largest economies, the person in charge of this fund-raising venture, Dong Yaohui, made it clear that the government would be unable to preserve the large site on its own.  He said that contributions, no matter how small, would help create “a great wall” to protect the Great Wall.  Restoration work will be carried out in the first instance along the Xifengkou section of the edifice which runs through a reservoir.

A crowdfunding campaign in New Zealand recently raised money to buy a beach in the Abel Tasman National Park.