• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 2:00am
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 May, 2013, 4:15pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 May, 2013, 8:31am

'I was here' Chinese carving on ancient Egyptian wall is decried on Weibo


Ernest is a City desk news reporter at the South China Morning Post. Follow him on Twitter @ernestkao

Etched into a 3,000-year-old clay wall of Luxor's most fabled temple is now a strange inscription that looks nothing like what an ancient Egyptian might write.

Locals and archaeologists have made nothing of it, but one humiliated Chinese tourist was able to point out the culprit almost immediately. “Ding Jinhao visited this place,” the carving read – in modern Chinese characters.

“I tried to wipe it with a paper towel, but it didn’t come off. I didn’t dare to use water because the relic was more than 3,000 years old,” a disgraced Shen said on his Sina Weibo account. He said he apologised to the tour guide but still felt ashamed even after he was told it wasn’t his fault.

Shen's photos of the vandalism at Luxor Temple spread quickly on Weibo at the weekend, the Beijing News reported on Sunday. They showed seven Chinese characters carved into the torso of a drawing of an ancient Egyptian.

Shen’s post racked up more than a 100,000 Weibo comments by Sunday, with most users slamming whoever “Ding Jinghao” was for having "no quality" and being a national “shame”.

Shen said he hoped the matter would bring more attention to Chinese tourists’ behaviour as a reflection of China’s image abroad.

The photos also turned the spotlight yet again to poor behaviour by mainland Chinese tourists less than two weeks after a high-profile telling-off by Vice-Premier Wang Yang.

Wang had admitted that “uncivilised behaviour" by Chinese tourists abroad was harming the country’s image and lamented them for poor “quality and breeding”.

He singled out for condemnation “talking loudly in public places, jay-walking, spitting and willfully carving characters on items in scenic zones”, state media reported.

Under a new Chinese law, travel agencies will be allowed to revoke their contracts with tourists who “engage in activities that violate social ethics”, although it does not specify examples.


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This article is now closed to comments

Reading the SCMP & the accompanying comments, I thought the mainlanders were all barbaric & uncouth – until I read the article on Daily Mail Online (****www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2331694/Germany-brings-drones-help-fight-war-graffiti-artists-targeting-train-depots.html) which reported that Germany, the richest, most civilised educated country in the world, intends to deploy drones to catch graffiti writers. Blew me away.
If you cannot behave abroad, please stay home and damage you own cultural heritage, or what's left of it!
new evidence showing chinese were the first people in egypt? he even signed his name! -:) but on a serious note... vandalism of ancient/historical monuments is not limited to graffiti. what about all these vulgar, McD, KFC, Four Seasons Hotel, luxury retail chain around historical monuments!?? that is WORSE than this guy's graffiti. at least his is not ubiquitous, not causing diabetes/obesity/heart diseases, not erecting a barrier where only the rich gets admittance. when was the last time media go after these Multinational Corporations systematic graffiti all over the world?!!!! and everybody is freaking out about this china guy's graffiti? gimme a BREAK!!!!
You've got serious problem with logic on this. First of all, there is a difference between vandalism and having a fast food restaurant in the location with a permit. Secondly, unhealthy food is not an act of vandalism. Thirdly - it's not a matter what is worse. Just because McD and KFC are bad for you, it does not mean that some random dude can walk around and scribble on the artefacts of historical significance the facts of his banal life.
You might not like fast food (I know I don't) - so vote with your dollar - don't go there. Just don't be an ****, who damages stuff and shoves the blame on some corporation, that doesn't care anyway.
Just pull whover this was out and punish him severally or hand him over to the Egypt authorities. If some foreigner would destroy Chinese Relicts in China who would faced the same punishement.
> implying people have not been having rave parties, leaving trash and scraping things onto the Great Wall for decades
> implying Chinese care anything at all for their own ancient heritage
> see cultural revolution
> implying Chinese tourists are not low quality, basically peasants who could afford a plane ticket
There was no indication whatsoever in Camel's comment, that implied anything close to what you said in your last line. Basically you came up with it and got offended by your own words.
As far as protection of importnat historical relics is concerned - damaging it is a crime in most of the countries (including China and Egypt) and anybody, who does the damage, should be punished, regardless of their nationality, race or where they are coming from.


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