Friday, October 21, 2011

World Heritage Sites in Grave Danger

The World's Heritage Sites are in grave structural danger.

Notably, India's Taj Mahal and China's Great Wall, two of the most iconic and well traveled tourist sites on Earth.

It was reported last month that the Taj Mahal could COLLAPSE within just FIVE years due to a rotting wooden structural beams.

"...believe the foundations have become brittle and are disintegrating.

Cracks appeared last year in parts of the tomb, and the four minarets which surround the monument are showing signs of tilting."

That's right, the 358 year old tomb is already cracking and tilting. The Taj was built near the Yamuna river, which has now run dry due to overpopulation, over building and deforestation. The foundation beams have been exposed and are now dry and brittle. Experts fear that if the foundation isn't shored up immediately the entire thing is going to collapse upon itself into a heap of rubble.

Astonishingly, NO ONE has been permitted to explore the foundations of the building for over 30 years. So for THREE DECADES, there hasn't been any maintenance at all in an age and era when maintenance would have to be a constant job at all times. It's no wonder the thing is going to perish. So sad.

This article has caused an uproar in India and inquiries are now underway to determine the exact state of the monument.

You can read more about this here: Taj Mahal News Article

Omni Report: Taj Mahal - August 2009

The Great Wall of China is falling victim to both legal and illegal mining operations which are undermining the foundation in various spots of its vast length.

Experts are warning that the Wall is crumbling away in sections. Since some of the mining is legal with permits to boot, conservationists can do nothing but sit and watch the ancient monument disintegrate before their eyes.

Green Diary reported back in 2007 that the Wall was suffering from great dust storms caused by over erosion and soil degradation from over farming - exactly the conditions that caused the American dust bowl in the 1930's - as well as over tourism.

These monuments are gargantuan and yet as delicate as flowers. Although they are protected as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, they are at the mercy of local governments, the environment itself, natives and hordes of tourists.

You can read more here: Great Wall News Article

Green Diary article

Omni Report: Great Wall - January 2010

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