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Temple’s Tourist Tag Stirs Outcry

Friday, May 31, 2013

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Teen graffiti scrawled on a 3,500-year-old tablet at Egypt’s Temple of Luxor has triggered public outrage.

Egyptian authorities say they removed the graffiti this week, but news of the tag “Ding Jinhao was here” (written in Mandarin) and the 15-year-old Chinese boy responsible continue to dominate social media and news reports.

via VOAnews / public domain image

"Ding Jinhao was here" was etched into a bas-relief in a 3,500-year-old temple in Luxor, Egypt.

Reports say a Chinese tourist posted a photo of the defaced monument on his blog, admonishing the behavior of his countrymen abroad. The image went viral; Global Times says it was shared more than 90,000 times on Chinese social media.

Soon, the youth—who had defaced the ancient monument a few years ago while on vacation with his family—was outed.

The boy’s parents issued an apology and noted that their son was concerned about all the attention. Hackers have apparently vandalized his school’s website with a message mocking him—"Ding Jinhao was here."

Tourist Behavior Questioned

The graffiti has been a catalyst for a public debate on the behavior of Chinese tourists abroad.

Government authorities have urged Chinese citizens to "behave themselves" overseas and abide by local laws and regulations.

Luxor Temple
Jerzy Strzelecki / Wikimedia Commons

Egypt's Temple of Luxor was one of many sanctuaries built for worshiping gods.

The Chinese have become the world's leading tourists, with 83 million traveling abroad in 2012, according to reports citing the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

The tagging tempest capped off a tough month for archaeology fans around the world.

A Mayan pyramid that majestically crowned a 100-foot-tall mound in Central America was recently destroyed by a construction crew in need of road fill. See “Construction Crew Ruins Ruins.”


Tagged categories: Graffiti; Graffiti removal; Historic Preservation; Historic Structures; Vandalism

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