China to share more of the Great Wall

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iol travel feb 20 ss nu china3 REUTERS Tourists visit the Great Wall of China in Badaling.

Beijing will open two new parts of the Great Wall to tourists to meet high demand for one of the world's most famous tourist attractions, state media reported.

The municipal government will open the Huanghuacheng and Hefangkou sections of the Great Wall to the public and expand the popular Mutianyu and Badaling sites in the capital's northern suburbs, the official Xinhua News Agency said. No specific dates were given.

On weekends and holidays, the existing four public Great Wall sites often are crammed with tourists. Xinhua said some tourists instead scale closed sections of the wall and cause damage to the historic structure.

Kong Fanzhi, chief of Beijing's cultural relics bureau, told Xinhua the new measures aim to ease the congestion at the open sections of the wall.

Most of the wall in Beijing is in good condition, Wang Yuwei, a cultural relics protection official, was quoted as saying.

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications built throughout centuries to protect the country's ancient empire.

Wang said the city is building a Great Wall database, which will be open to the public. - Sapa-AP

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